Year: 2023 Source: Social Science & Medicine. (2023). 326, 115926. SIEC No: 20231049

Suicide ideation is the first stage of suicide behavior, and the long-term course of suicide ideation is highly variable. The aim of this study is to identify trajectories of suicide ideation over an 8-year period and explore the association of socioeconomic status (SES) with suicide ideation trajectories.
We included 10,017 participants from Waves 7–15 of the Korea Welfare Panel Study; these have data on suicidal ideation (2012–2020). Trajectories analysis was conducted to identify distinct trajectories of suicidal ideation. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associations of SES with suicidal ideation trajectories. The interaction effects between current SES and prospective economic condition on trajectories were examined using a synergy index (SI).
We identified three suicide ideation trajectory groups: low-stable, moderate-decreasing, and high-persistent. Individuals in both moderate-decreasing and high-persistent trajectories had poorer current SES and prospective economic conditions than low-stable trajectories. Interestingly, those reporting poorer prospective economic conditions had a greater risk of being in a high-persistent trajectory than being in a moderate-decreasing trajectory. Further, individuals with poorer current SES and prospective economic conditions were more likely to be in the high-persistent trajectory.
Our findings demonstrated three distinct trajectories of suicide ideation which provide useful information for specific preventive interventions that could be developed. Moreover, poor prospective economic condition is a significant predictor of the high-persistent suicide ideation trajectory. Supporting economic difficulties and helping make goals and plans to strengthen positive thinking would help attenuate suicidal ideation and prevent suicidal behavior.