Methods: Data were taken from the National Violent Death Reporting System-Restricted Access Database (NVDRS-RAD, 2003-2019). Of the total suicide cases (n=267,804), only the 58,545 (21.9%) female suicide cases were selected for analysis. Prior to analysis, the data were thoroughly checked and cleaned for missingness and errors. The primary analyses were descriptive univariate and bivariate chi-square tests to determine preliminary and exploratory evidence related to the characteristics and circumstances surrounding IPP-related suicide cases relative to non-IPP-related suicide cases. All p values were two-sided, and p values <.05 were considered indicative of significance.
Results: Findings showed that of the 58,545 female suicides, 13,496 cases were related to IPP, indicating that about 23% of female suicide victims struggled with IPP. Overall, compared to non- IPP related suicide, IPP-related suicide was identified at a higher rate in groups that were (a) younger, (b) non-white, (c) of higher education levels, (d) U.S.-born, and (e) pregnant or postpartum (p<.001). IPP-related suicide victims were also more likely than non-IPP-related suicide victims to have experienced previous (a) trauma, (b) mental health problems, (c) alcohol/substance abuse problems, (d) financial challenges, and (e) relational problems with family and others (p<.001). Additionally, compared to non-IPP-related suicides, IPP-related suicides largely occurred at night between 6pm and 6am and at a home or private residence (p<.001). While poisoning was the most common method of female suicide, IPP-related suicide victims tended to use firearms as the most common method.
Conclusions and Implications: Study findings identified that women with IPP struggled not only with IPP itself, but also with previous traumas and psychosocial challenges. Given that IPP, trauma, and mental health problems may be bidirectional and co-occurring, our presentation will focus on providing recommendations for a comprehensive, trauma-informed approach for preventing suicide among women who are facing multiple psychosocial risk factors. We will also discuss that how women’s social and racial vulnerability might be related to suicidal risk. Additionally, the study findings provide novel evidence regarding suicide incidence characteristics such as methods, locations, and time. Although these are preliminary findings, they provide meaningful information in understanding where, when, and how IPP-related female suicides tend to take place. The presentation will provide recommendations for how social work practitioners and scholars can make an important contribution in preventing suicide among women who face IPP. Overall, this work fills an important need in the “Mental Health” SSWR clusters.