Alcohol use and suicidality in firefighters: Associations with depressive symptoms and posttraumatic stress. Academic Article uri icon


  • Both suicidality and alcohol use disorders are significant public health concerns among firefighters, and alcohol use is associated with increased suicide risk. In addition, firefighters endorse high rates of symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thus, the current investigation examined associations between alcohol dependence and suicide risk among a large sample of firefighters. Specifically, this study examined the indirect effects of alcohol dependence on suicidality outcomes via both depression and posttraumatic stress, using structural equation modeling. A total of 2883 male firefighters completed a self-report survey, containing measures of alcohol use, suicidality, PTSD, and depressive symptoms. Results indicated good model fit. The latent alcohol dependence variable was directly related to the latent suicide risk variable. However, when depression and posttraumatic stress latent variables were added into the model, alcohol dependence was no longer associated with suicide risk. Furthermore, alcohol dependence was indirectly related to suicide risk via latent depression and posttraumatic stress variables. Indirect effects were established after controlling for relevant covariates. Clinical implications are discussed.

published proceedings

  • Compr Psychiatry

altmetric score

  • 20.4

author list (cited authors)

  • Martin, C. E., Vujanovic, A. A., Paulus, D. J., Bartlett, B., Gallagher, M. W., & Tran, J. K.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Martin, Colleen E||Vujanovic, Anka A||Paulus, Daniel J||Bartlett, Brooke||Gallagher, Matthew W||Tran, Jana K

publication date

  • April 2017