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Call for Papers - Posttraumatic Stress and Suicide

Proposed JTS Special Issue: Posttraumatic Stress and Suicide

Editor: Patricia K. Kerig

One of the most concerning sequelae seen in the aftermath of trauma exposure is the heightened risk of self-harm. The high prevalence of co-occurring posttraumatic stress and suicidality has been well-established across a wide range of samples and age ranges (e.g., Krysinska & Lester, 2010; Oni, Singh, Sharma et al., 2020; Tarrier & Gregg, 2004), with studies consistently demonstrating elevated rates of suicidal ideation (e.g., Panagioti, Gooding, & Tarrier, 2012), suicide attempts (e.g., Stanley, Rogers, Hanson, Gutierrez, & Joiner, 2019), completed suicides (e.g., Gradus, Qin, Lincoln, Miller et al., 2010), and nonsuicidal self-injury (e.g., Harned, Korslund, Foa, & Linehan, 2012; Calhoun et al., 2017; Weierich & Nock, 2008) among those with PTSD or clinically significant levels of posttraumatic symptoms. However, less is known about how and why these associations pertain. Importantly, research into potential explanatory mechanisms, mediators, and/or moderators of the trauma–suicide link is critical for informing effective interventions (Cusack et al., 2016; Forbes et al., 2010).

With this aim in mind, we are seeking original manuscripts for a proposed special issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, the official journal of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, which will focus on methodologically sound empirical research and theoretically-grounded conceptual models addressing the link between posttraumatic stress and suicidality. Manuscripts are invited that focus on a range of samples (including adults, adolescents, children, couples, and families) and types of trauma exposure (including military-related traumas, interpersonal violence, maltreatment, disasters, secondary traumatic stress, and other Criterion A stressors). Studies utilizing multiple data points that allow for the testing of directional models of the associations among variables are of particular interest. Clinical trials testing innovative theoretically-derived interventions are welcome, providing they follow the CONSORT guidelines. Similarly, high-quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses will be considered, providing they follow PRISMA and best practice (Siddaway, Wood, & Hedges, 2019) guidelines.

For full consideration for this proposed special issue, a well-articulated abstract (one page) or a manuscript draft should be submitted to Dr. Patricia Kerig no later than July 1, 2021. Abstracts of empirical studies should include an outline of the conceptual framework/theoretical model informing the study, sufficient information regarding the methods to allow assessment of their rigor, and a description of the statistical analyses and results. Submissions should all be of original work not yet published in any other venue. Prospective contributors who wish to confer with the Editor before submitting in order to determine the potential fit of their work to the themes of this special issue are welcome to contact her at the email provided above.

After a review of potential contributions, authors of submissions that are a good fit with the intention of the special issue will be invited to submit their work for full journal review. Please note that an invitation to submit an article for consideration for the special issue is not a guarantee of acceptance; all submissions to JTS must undergo independent peer review and acceptance is contingent upon a positive outcome of that review.

Manuscript style should follow the Journal of Traumatic Stress Author Guidelines including use of APA 7th edition format, and should not exceed a maximum of 30 double-spaced pages inclusive of text, references, tables, and figures.

Cusack, K., Jonas, D. E., Forneris, C. A., Wines, C., Sonis, J., Middleton, J. C., . . . Gaynes, B. N. (2016). Psychological treatments for adults with posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical psychology review, 43, 128-141. doi:

Forbes, D., Creamer, M., Bisson, J. I., Cohen, J. A., Crow, B. E., Foa, E. B., . . . Ursano, R. J. (2010). A guide to guidelines for the treatment of PTSD and related conditions. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 23(5), 537-552. doi:10.1002/jts.20565

Gradus, J. L., Qin, P., Lincoln, A. K., Miller, M., Lawler, E., Sørensen, H. T., & Lash, T. L. (2010). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Completed Suicide. American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(6), 721-727. doi:10.1093/aje/kwp456

Harned, M. S., Korslund, K. E., Foa, E. B., & Linehan, M. M. (2012). Treating PTSD in suicidal and self-injuring women with borderline personality disorder: Development and preliminary evaluation of a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Prolonged Exposure protocol. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 50(6), 381-386. doi:

Krysinska, K., & Lester, D. (2010). Post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide risk: A systematic review. Archives of Suicide Research, 14(1), 1-23. doi:10.1080/13811110903478997

Oni, O., Singh, V., Sharma, R., Sharma, M., Sharma, R., Oehlert, M., & Thakur, H. J. S. M. (2020). Suicide attempts and self-inflicted injury among a national cohort of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Social Medicine, 12(3), 243-253.

Panagioti, M., Gooding, P. A., & Tarrier, N. (2012). A meta-analysis of the association between posttraumatic stress disorder and suicidality: the role of comorbid depression. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 53(7), 915-930. doi:

Siddaway, A. P., Wood, A. M., & Hedges, L. V. (2019). How to Do a Systematic Review: A Best Practice Guide for Conducting and Reporting Narrative Reviews, Meta-Analyses, and Meta-Syntheses. Annual Review of Psychology, 70(1), 747-770. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-010418-102803

Stanley, I. H., Rogers, M. L., Hanson, J. E., Gutierrez, P. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2019). PTSD symptom clusters and suicide attempts among high-risk military service members: A three-month prospective investigation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(1), 67-78. doi:10.1037/ccp0000350

Tarrier, N., & Gregg, L. (2004). Suicide risk in civilian PTSD patients. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatry Epidemiology, 39, 655-661. doi:

Weierich, M. R., & Nock, M. K. (2008). Posttraumatic stress symptoms mediate the relation between childhood sexual abuse and nonsuicidal self-injury. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(1), 39-43. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.76.1.39