The intersection of interpersonal and self-directed violence among general adult, college student and sexually diverse samples
Background: Suicide and interpersonal violence (i.e. victimization and perpetration) represent pressing public health problems, and yet remain mostly addressed as separate topics.
Aims: To identify the (1) frequency and overlap of suicide and interpersonal violence and (2) characteristics differentiating subgroups of violence-related experiences.
Methods: A health survey was completed by 2,175 respondents comprised of three groups: college students (n=702), adult members of a sexuality special interest organization (n=816) and a community adult sample (n=657). Latent class analysis was used to identify subgroups characterized by violence experiences; logistic regression was used to identify respondent characteristics differentiating subgroups.
Results: Overall rates of violence perpetration were low; perpetration, victimization and self-directed violence all varied by sample. Adults with alternative sexual interests reported high rates of victimization and self-directed violence. Analyses indicated two subgroups: (1) victimization+self-directed violence and (2) self-directed violence only. The victimization+self-directed violence subgroup was characterized by older, White, female and sexual orientation minority persons. The self-directed violence subgroup was characterized by younger, non-White, male and straight counterparts engaging with more sexual partners and more frequent drug use.
Conclusion: Findings support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition of suicide as self-directed violence. Suicide intervention and prevention should further account for the role of violent victimization by focusing on the joint conceptualization of self-directed and interpersonal violence. Additional prevention implications are discussed.