Intensity and duration of suicidal crises vary as a function of previous suicide attempts and negative life events


Borrowing from past conceptual work on the unique characteristics of multiple suicide attempters, as well on the effect of previous suicidal and depressive experience on later functioning, the authors hypothesized that negative events would be related to intensity of suicidal crises among never- and first-attempters but not among multiple attempters and that negative events would be related to duration of suicidal crises among multiple attempters but not among never- and first-attempters. Data on past suicide history, negative life events, and clinician- and self-rated suicidal symptoms were collected on 326 suicidal patients, 249 of whom were available at 1-month follow-up. Findings conformed to prediction. Previous suicidal experience alters the parameters of current suicidal crises. Implications of these findings for suicide risk and clinical assessment and management are discussed.

Publication Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology