Year: 2018 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2018). 22(3): 510-517. SIEC No: 20180513

With suicide being a leading cause of death in the United States, research must aim to increase efficacious prevention methods. The purpose of the present study was to gain greater understanding of the difference between suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. Previous research emphasizes the role of hopelessness in attempts and ideation (Bagge, Lamis, Nadorff, & Osman, 2014Bagge, C. L.Lamis, D. A.Nadorff, M., & Osman, A.(2014). Relations between hopelessness, depressive symptoms and suicidality: Mediation by reasons for livingJournal of Clinical Psychology70(1), 1831. doi:10.1002/jclp.22005[Crossref][PubMed][Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]). Yet while hopelessness offers predictive value to suicide attempt, it fails in discriminating between suicide attempters and suicide ideators. Thus the goal was to examine the possible influence of different types of hopelessness on suicidal ideation and attempt. The experience of hopelessness as a temporary feeling, or state, versus as an enduring emotion, or trait, was examined in this study. The State-Trait Hopelessness Scale and 4 suicidal thought and suicidal behavior questions were assessed. Results of logistic regression analysis supported the hypothesis that state and trait hopelessness were differentially associated with ideation and attempt. While trait hopelessness was significantly positively associated with responses to all 4 suicidality questions (p’s < 0.001), state hopelessness was only positively related to responses to 1 ideation question (p < 0.01). In all, these results point to the importance of understanding the role of different types of hopelessness in differentiating suicidal ideation and attempt.