People in custody with a suicidal history: An ideation-to-action perspective involving individuals incarcerated in two U.S. jails
Stoliker, B.E. & Abderhalden, F.P.
Objective: Despite high suicide mortality in U.S. jails, little is known about the cognitive (ideation) and behavioral (attempt) spectrum of suicide risk in this population. Identifying factors associated with the development of suicidal ideation, as well as the translation of thoughts to acts of suicide, is important for suicide prevention. Method: Using data from a cross-sectional study conducted in 2018-2019, we investigated suicidal ideation and attempt among 548 individuals incarcerated in jail in the United States. Specifically, we compared those with suicidal ideation (n = 212) to those without suicidal ideation (n = 336), as well as compared those who had experienced suicidal ideation and attempted suicide (n = 114) to those who thought about suicide without making an attempt (n = 98), on a range of sociodemographic and clinical factors. Results: Over one-third (38.7%) of participants had a history of suicidal ideation, whereas 23.3% had attempted suicide. In the adjusted analyses, a family history of suicide (OR = 2.09), drug use (OR = 2.26), social support (OR = 0.61), and self-harm (OR = 24.93) were linked to suicidal ideation. No wish to live (OR = 5.26) and interpersonal violence while intoxicated (OR = 2.41) were associated with the progression from suicidal ideation to a suicide attempt. Conclusions: Consistent with extant theoretical and empirical work, findings suggest that factors linked to the development of suicidal cognitions differ from those underlying the progression from suicidal ideation to a (non-lethal) suicide attempt.