Little is known about risk factors associated with the incidence of and recovery from suicidal ideation. Aims: To examine the association between potential risk factors and their change in status over the follow-up period and the incidence of and recovery from suicidal ideation. Method: A 12-month follow-up survey was conducted among 997 adults aged between 20 and 59 years living in Hong Kong. Results: The incidence rates of suicidal ideation increased in individuals who were divorced, separated, or widowed, in low economic status, had a history of psychiatric treatment, and experienced bereavement at baseline. Experiencing three or more life events and persistent unemployment over the follow-up period was associated with increased incidence of suicidal ideation. Increased levels of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and irrational beliefs were associated with suicidal ideation incidence in men but not in women (p = .009Ð.067 for interactions). Among individuals who had suicidal ideation at baseline, those who had increased severity of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness over the follow-up period were less likely to recover from suicidal ideation. Conclusion: Life events and persistent unemployment were associated with increased risk of suicidal ideation. Gender differences were detected in the association between changes in the status of psychological factors and the occurrence of suicidal ideation.