Military Suicide

Military Suicide



Thearticle “Prevalence and risk factors associated with suicide ofarmy soldiers 2001-2009” was written by Sandra Black, Shayne,Gallaway, and Michael Bell. The Article was published in the journalof Military Psychology in the year 2011. The main idea that theauthors intended to drive is that the prevalence of cases of suicideamong the military staff has been increasing exponentially within aperiod of close to one decade. Black, Shayne &amp Bell (2011)supported the main idea with the findings obtained from aquantitative study of 874 cases of suicide, which attributed the highprevalence of suicide among soldiers to a combination ofpsychosocial, biological, and environmental factors that influencedmany soldiers to commit suicide. Black, Shayne &amp Bell (2011)presented the main idea in the introduction of the article while thedata to supporting the idea is presented in the middle of the articlewithin the “results section”.

Thearticle uses objective description to present the idea of therelationship between suicide among the soldiers and psychosocial,biological, and environmental factors. The description is consideredto be objective because it is based on empirical evidence that wasobtained through a quantitative study. Therefore, the idea is not theopinion of the authors, which could otherwise be subjective, but thereality on the ground.

Thewriting has three major strengths that helped its authors in passingthe message in an effective and convincing way. First, the authorsorganized the writing in a logical progression, which means thatideas flow well from the start to the end. Black, Shayne &amp Bell(2011) achieved the logical progression by dividing the article intosubsections, including the abstract, introduction, method ormethodology, findings, discussion, and conclusion. Secondly, thewriting is supported by numerous appeals of logos that persuade thereaders to believe in the main idea by showing them the reason to doso. For example, when presenting statistics on different proportionsof soldiers undergoing different experiences, Black, Shayne &ampBell (2011) stated “Manyhad legal problems (31%), high stress loads (90%), a history ofself-injury (10%), and other contributing factors prior to entry intothe Army (31%)”. Apart from convincing the readers, appeals oflogos helped the authors present their idea in an objective.

Third,Black,Shayne &amp Bell (2011) supporttheir ideas with the findings presented in other articles by otherresearchers. For example, Lester (2004) and Brown (2006) supportedthe idea that suicide among soldiers is positively associated withpsychosocial,biological, and environmental factors.By reviewing other research articles published within a span of eightyears, the authors were able to show readers trends on the issue ofsuicide among the soldiers.

Thearticle has one major limitation, which is the lack controls in theexperiment to confirm the causal relationship that the author defendsthroughout the writing. This reduces the capacity of the authors toconvince the reader about differences on how soldiers experiencepsychosocial, biological, and environmental factors compared to thegeneral population.

Inconclusion, the article “Prevalenceand risk factors associated with suicide of army soldiers 2001-2009”confirms the association that exists between psychosocial,biological, and environmental factors and the high prevalence ofcases of suicide among soldiers. Although biological andpsychological factors may be similar to those of the generalpopulation, soldiers live and work in a different environment, whichincrease the risk of committing suicide.


Black,A., Shayne, M. &amp Bell, R. (2011). Prevalence and risk factorsassociated with suicide of army soldiers 2001-2009. MilitaryPsychology,23, 433-451.

Brown,M. Z. (2006). Linehan’s theory of suicidal behavior: Theory,research, and dialectical behavior therapy. InT. E. Ellis (Ed.), Cognition and suicide: Theory, research, andtherapy.Washington, DC. American Psychological Association.

Lester,D. (2004). A comparison of fifteen theories of suicide. Suicide&amp Life-Threatening Behavior,24, 80–88.