Suicide Ideation and Deliberate Self-Harm among Ex-Prisoners of War

Yossi Levi-Belz, Gadi Zerach, Zahava Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The current study aims to assess the relations among war captivity, PTSD, suicidal ideation (SI), and deliberate self-harm (DSH) among former prisoners of war (ex-POWs). Israeli ex-POWs (N = 176) and a matched control group of combat veterans (controls; N = 118) were assessed using self-report measures. Ex-POWs with PTSD reported higher levels of both SI and DSH compared to ex-POWs and comparable veterans without PTSD. Furthermore, captivity-related variables as well as PTSD symptom clusters were positively related to both SI and DSH. However, only loss of emotional control in captivity and posttraumatic intrusion and emotional numbing symptoms, predicted SI. Ex-POWs with PTSD endorse high levels of SI and DSH. Among ex-POWs, both SI and DSH share similar captivity-related and posttraumatic symptoms correlates but only posttraumatic intrusion and emotional numbing symptoms predict SI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-248
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2015


  • captivity
  • deliberate self-harm
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • prisoners of war
  • suicide ideation


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