Reports about Behavioral and Social Health in the Military

Last Updated: October 06, 2023
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Military behavioral and social health epidemiology is the technical process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting various data inputs to identify and assess trends in outcomes such suicidal behavior, depression, anxiety, substance use, and sexual harassment and assault.

These public health activities include:  

  • Public health monitoring and surveillance of military population-level data.
  • Leveraging Department of Defense Suicide Event Reports (DoDSERs) to support understanding of suicidal behavior in response to requests for information from military leaders and stakeholders.
  • Providing installation and unit commanders with targeted findings from investigations and Epidemiological Consultations (EPICONs) of behavioral and social health outcomes of Service members to inform implementation of related policies and programs. 
Evidence and guidance derived from military behavioral and social health epidemiology is captured in periodic publications, scientific journal articles, and communication products.

Periodic Publications:

  • Surveillance of Suicidal Behavior Publication (SSBP)
    • September 2023​​: Surveillance of Suicidal Behavior: U.S. Army Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, 2019 and 2020
    • October 2019: Surveillance of Suicidal Behavior: U.S. Army Reserve Component Soldiers, January-December 2017
    • January 2019: Surveillance of Suicidal Behavior: U.S. Army Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, January-December 2018 
  • Mortality Surveillance Report
    • July 2022: Mortality Surveillance in the U.S. Army, 2014-2019 
  • Surveillance of Substance Abuse and Dependence
    • October 2021:​External Link​ Surveillance of Substance Abuse and Dependence: U.S. Army Soldiers, January 2016-December 2019 

Scientific Journal Articles:

  • September 2023:​External Link​ Dean FM, Beymer MR, Schaughency KCL, Kaplansky GF, Allman MWR, Anke KM. Cross-Sectional Examination of Physical Abuse Victimization Differences between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Service Members in the U.S. Military, 2018. LGBT Health. 2023 Sep;10(S1):S70-S78. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2023.0122. PMID: 37754919.​
  • March 2023:External Link​ Beymer MR, Apostolou A, Smith CM, Paschane DM, Gomez SAQ, James TD, Bell AM, Santo T, Quartana PJ. Mental Health Outcomes Among American Indian and Alaska Native U.S. Army Soldiers: A Serial Cross-Sectional Analysis. Mil Med. 2023 Feb 27:usad049. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usad049. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36848142. ​
  • ​​January 2022:​External Link​ Rabbitt MP, Beymer MR, Reagan JR, Jarvis B, Watkins EY.  Food Insecurity Among Active-Duty Soldiers and Their Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Public Health Nutrition, 2022 Jan 24; 1-20. 
  • ​May 2022:External Link​ Smith JD, Beymer MR, Schaughency KCL. (2022). The Association Between Two Bogus Items, Demographics, and Military Characteristics in a 2019 Cross-Sectional Survey of U.S. Army Soldiers. MSMR Vol. 29, No. 05, Pages 17-22, May 2022.  
  • November 2022:External Link​ Gomez AQ, Beymer MR, Santo TJ, Riviere LA, Adler AB, Thomas JL, Bell AM, Quartana PJ. (2022). Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Army Families: Household Finances, Familial Experiences, and Soldiers' Behavioral Health. Military Psychology, Received 19 Jan 2022, Accepted 11 Nov 2022, Published online: 07 Dec 2022.
  •  November 2022:External Link​ Beymer MR, Gomez SAQ, Santo TJ, Bell AM, Quartana PJ. (2022). COVID-19 Vaccination Attitudes and Intentions among U.S. Soldiers: Results from the U.S. Army Behavioral Health Advisory Team (BHAT). Journal of Community Health (2022); Acceptance Date: 7 October 2022. Published Date: 12 November 2022. 
  • May 2021:External Link​ Watkins EY, Beymer MR, Johnson L, Ball J, Benedict T, Ross M, Bibio D, Maule A, Engen C. Translating Public Health Recommendations Using the Army Design Methodology.  Military Medicine, usab173. PMID: 34009378. 
  • June 2021:External Link​ Jeffery DD, Beymer MR, Mattiko MJ, Shell D. Health Behavior Differences Between Male and Female Military Personnel by Sexual Orientation: The Importance of Disaggregating Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Groups.  Military Medicine, Volume 186, Issue 5-6, May-June 2021, Pages 556-564.  
  • June 2021:External Link​ Beymer MR, Hill CG, Perry MA, Johnson LD, Jarvis BP, Pecko JA, Humphries J, Watkins EY. Pornography Use and Intimate Partner Violence among a Sample of United States Army Soldiers in 2018: A Cross-Sectional Study.  Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 50, Issue 5, June 2021, Pages 2245-2251.   
  • June 2021:External Link​ Schaughency KCL, et. al. Financial Costs to the Army for Suicides by Newly Enlisted Soldiers.  Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Volume 51, Issue 5, June 2021, Pages 907-915.  
  • June 2021:External Link​ Schaughency KCL*, Watkins EY, Preston SL. (2021). Is Suicide a Social Phenomenon during the COVID-19 Pandemic? Differences by Birth Cohort on Suicide among Active Component Army Soldiers, 1 January 2000 – 4 June 2021. Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, 28(9):8-12.   
  • July 2021:​External Link  Beymer MR, Reagan JJ, Rabbitt MP, Webster AE, Watkins EY. Association between Food Insecurity, Mental Health, and Intentions to Leave the U.S. Army in a Cross-Sectional Sample of U.S. Soldiers. The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 151, Issue 7, July 2021, Pages 2051-2058.  
  • October 2021:External Link​​ Abdur-Rahman I, Watkins EY, Jarvis BP, Beymer MR, Schoenbaum M, Bossarte RM, Pecko JA, Cox K. Mortality among United States Army Soldiers within 18 Months of Separation. Military Medicine, Volume 186, Issue 9-10, September-October 2021, Pages e988-e995.   
  • November 2021:External Link Kaplansky GF, Ackah-Toffey L, Beymer MR, Schaughency KCL*. (2021). Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Association between Perceived Barriers to Behavioral Health Care and Intentions to Leave the US Army. Medical Surveillance Monthly Report, 28(9):2-7.  
  • June 2020:External Link​ Hill CG, Beymer MR, Jarvis BP, Smith JD, Nichols JN, Mysliwiec V, Pecko JA, Humphries J, Watkins EY.  A Cross-Sectional Examination of the Association Between Social Media Use and Sleep Among a Sample of U.S. Army Soldiers. Military Medicine, Volume 185, Issue 5-6, May-June 2020, Pages e694-e702.  
  • August 2020:External Link​ Forys-Donahue, KL, Brooks RD, Beymer MR, Pecko J. The Association between Nutrition and Behavioral Health in a U.S. Army Population.  Public Health Nutrition, Volume 23, Issue 17, August 2020, Pages 3059-3066. 
  • ​December 2020:External Link​ Smith JD, Schaughency KCL, Christopher P, Watkins EY, Anke KM. Time to Suicide and Suicide Attempt among Army Enlisted Soldiers' First Year of Service.  Military Behavioral Health, Volume 9, Issue 2, December 2020, Pages 198-205.  
  • January 2019:​External Link​ Sznajder KK, Abdur-Rahman I, Watkins EY, Mancha BE, Anke K, Kateley K, Rattigan M, Bell AM.  Characterizing Sexual Assault among Female U.S. Soldiers with Suicidal Behavior.  Military Behavior Health, Volume 7, Issue 3, January 2019, Pages 268-278. ​

Communication Products: 

  • September 2023:​ Preventing Suicide through Social Connectedness
  • July 2023:​ Defense Public Health Experts Investigate Whether Minority Group Service Members Are More Likely to Experience Behavioral Health Problems
  • March 2023: Drugs and Alcohol - Military Psychologist Talks Facts, Prevention of Substance, Alcohol Misuse among Service Members 
  • January 2023:​ Military Public Health Experts Provide Tips for Leaders to Improve Medical Readiness  
  • December 2022:  Army Experts Highlight Findings, Recommendations from 10 Years of Suicide Studies 
  • December 2022: Stigma of Behavioral Health - Army Experts: Mixed Messages Can Fuel Stigma, Prevent Soldiers from Accessing Behavioral Healthcare
  • September 2022: Suicide Prevention Lessons Learned - Army Experts Highlight Findings, Recommendations from 10 Years of Suicide Studies 
  • September 2021:​ Suicide Warning Signs - Recognizing Suicide Warning Signs, Stressors Can Save Lives - Even Your Own 
  • April 2021:​​ Lessons Learned from 10 Years of EPICONs 

For more information: Behavioral and Social Health Outcomes Practice (BSHOP)​