Student Veterans: A National Survey Exploring Psychological Symptoms and Suicide Risk


The current study explored psychological symptoms, symptom severity, and suicide risk in a national sample (N = 628) of student veterans. We hypothesized that the rates, types, and severity of problems experienced by student veterans on campus would in many ways mirror those reported by active duty service members as well as the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom veteran population. Almost 35% of the sample experienced "severe anxiety," 24% experienced "severe depression," and almost 46% experienced significant symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. Of particular concern, there were significant numbers of participants thinking about suicide (46%), with 20% having a plan, 10.4% thinking about suicide "often or very often," 7.7% making an attempt, and 3.8% believing that suicide is either "likely" or "very likely." Implications of the findings are discussed, with a particular focus on college and university campuses. © 2011 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice