Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) Female Suicide Victims with Intimate Partner Problems and Their Suicide Intention Disclosure (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

431P (see Poster Gallery) Female Suicide Victims with Intimate Partner Problems and Their Suicide Intention Disclosure

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Jeongsuk Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, FL
Rebecca J. Macy, PhD, L. Richardson Preyer Distinguished Chair and Professor for Strengthening Families, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC
Cynthia F. Rizo, PhD, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Christopher J. Wretman, PhD, Senior Data Analyst/Research Associate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Spenser R. Radtke, MSW, Graduate Research Assistant, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background and Purpose: Women struggling with intimate partner problems (IPP) such as divorce, conflict, and violence, often experience mental health problems including suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Research has found that 25–40% of women struggling with IPP have attempted suicide at some point during or after the termination of their relational problems with their partners. Suicide researchers view individuals’ disclosure of their suicide intention as a critical intervention point at which to provide necessary help and prevent a potential suicide completion. However, there have been few efforts to understand disclosure patterns of suicidal ideations among women struggling with IPP—a clear risk group for suicidality. Accordingly, this study (1) explored disclosure patterns of suicidal ideation among women who had IPP and (2) examined which factors might be associated with suicide disclosure.

Methods: Data comprised seventeen waves of the National Violent Death Reporting Systems, Restricted Access Database from 2003–2019. In total, 58,545 female suicide cases were included in data analysis, and of these 23% (n=13,496) were women who struggled with IPP. Prior to analysis, the data were thoroughly cleaned. Analyses began with bivariate chi-square tests to compare IPP-related and non-IPP related suicide victims on suicide intent disclosure. Next, logistic regression models reporting adjusted odds ratios (AORs) were used to examine the factors associated with female suicide victims’ decision to disclose suicidal ideations. All p-values were two-sided with values <.05 considered indicative of significance.

Results: Bivariate findings showed that about one-third of IPP-related suicide victims shared their suicidal ideation with others, a much higher proportion than non-IPP related suicide victims (32% vs. 20%; p <.001). Also, IPP-related suicide victims tended to share their suicidal ideations with their partners (11%) more than others (e.g., family, friends, health care workers), while non-IPP-related suicide victims most often shared their ideations with family members (5%). After controlling for demographic covariates, logistic regression results showed that previous suicide ideation history (AOR=3.40, p<.001), current mental illness treatment (AOR=1.40, p<.001), substance problems (AOR=1.16, p<.001), and younger age (AOR=1.12, p<.001) were associated with increased odds of women’s suicide disclosure.

Conclusions and Implications: This study is a first-of-its-kind attempt to understand the disclosures of suicide intent among female suicide victims with IPP using a robust national data set. Results show that female suicide victims tend to share their suicide ideation before committing suicide, which indicates that opportunities exist to identify and prevent such suicides. Guided by these novel findings, this presentation will offer research and practice implications for how social work practitioners and scholars can make important contributions in preventing female suicide, especially among women struggling with IPP. For example, social work practitioners working in marriage counseling, domestic violence, and health care settings may usefully identify warning signs and connect at-risk women to necessary services. Also, women's demographic and psychosocial factors related to suicide disclosure should be also considered in developing suicide prevention programs. Overall, this work fills an important need in the “Mental Health” SSWR clusters.