Year: 2013 Source: Archives Of Suicide Research.(2012).16(3):183-9. DOI:10.1080/13811118.2012.695233 SIEC No: 20130460

This study examined whether active problem solving would buffer against, whereas passive problem solving would exacerbate, the association of negative life stress with suicidal ideation. Young adult college students (73 females, M(age) = 19.0) from a diverse urban public university, with (n = 37) and without (n = 59) a suicide attempt history completed measures of life stress, problem solving, hopelessness, depression, and suicidal ideation. Hierarchical linear regressions were conducted to test moderating roles of active and passive problem solving, along with suicide attempt history, on the relation between negative life event stress and suicidal ideation. There was a weaker relation between life stress and suicidal ideation at high and average levels of relevant problem solving than at low levels, and this was the case primarily for suicide attempters but not for non-attempters. Individuals with a past attempt produced more passive solutions than non-attempters, but among attempters, even passive problem solving buffered the association of life stress with suicidal ideation. Relevant problem solving in the face of life stress may be especially important for individuals vulnerable to suicidal ideation due to an attempt history. Among such at-risk individuals, generating even passive solutions in the face of life stress may be more adaptive than generating few solutions. Thus, clinical interventions with suicide attempters that focus on generating solutions to problems, even if these are initially passive, may help mitigate the effect of life stress on suicidal ideation.