Afifi et al1 corroborate results from a recent US study showing higher prevalence of childhood abuse among persons with a history of military service compared with persons who did not serve in the military.2 More importantly, Afifi and colleagues show how childhood abuse was differentially associated with suicidal risk among military and nonmilitary samples, and they explore childhood abuse in the context of deployment-related traumatic experiences among military personnel. These important findings have repercussions, from epidemiology through intervention and implementation efforts, for how scientists, health care professionals, and systems tackle the issue of understanding health outcomes, including suicide risk, among individuals who have served in the military.
Blosnich JR, Bossarte RM. Childhood Abuse and Military Experience—Important Information to Better Serve Those Who Have Served. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(3):195–196. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.2736