Multiple military deployments in families may raise teen suicide risk

11/19/2013

Teenagers with family members in the military were more likely to contemplate suicide if their relatives were deployed overseas multiple times, according to researchers from USC.

After analyzing survey data from 14,299 secondary school students in California — including more than 1,900 with parents or siblings in the military — the researchers found a link between a family member's deployment history and a variety of mental health problems, including "suicidal ideation," or thoughts about suicide.

Their study, published online Monday by the Journal of Adolescent Health, joins a growing body of evidence that the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have taken a hefty toll on children in military families.

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