Year: 2021 Source: Psychology and Psychotherapy. (2021). Published online 25 March 2021. doi: 10.1111/papt.12312. SIEC No: 20210328

Objectives: Although impulsiveness has been recognized as a risk factor for suicide, few studies have explored how to protect offenders with impulsiveness from the risk of suicide. This study aims to examine the relationships among impulsiveness, suicide risk, regulatory emotional self-efficacy (RESE), and flourishing, focusing on the moderating effects of RESE and flourishing in the relationship between impulsiveness and suicide risk.

Design and methods: This is a cross-sectional study of 941 male offenders. All participants were requested to provide some items of demographic information and to complete a package of self-reported questionnaires measuring impulsiveness, suicide risk, RESE, and flourishing.

Results: The results indicate that impulsiveness is positively correlated with suicide risk, while RESE and flourishing are negatively correlated with impulsiveness and suicide risk. Most importantly, both RESE and its dimension managing negative affect (NEG) negatively moderate the relationship between impulsiveness and suicide risk. Flourishing and the RESE dimension expressing positive affect (POS) show no significant moderating effect on impulsiveness-suicide risk link.

Conclusions: Regulatory emotional self-efficacy, especially its NEG dimension, can buffer the impact of impulsiveness on suicide risk in male offenders, indicating that these factors might be useful supplements in suicide prevention.

Practitioner points: Offender with higher level of RESE and flourishing show lower level of impulsiveness and suicide risk. High level of RESE and its NEG dimension can buffer the effect of impulsiveness on suicide risk. RESE, especially its NEG dimension might be a useful supplement for suicide prevention in offenders with high impulsiveness.