Personality types and suicidal behavior: An exploratory study


This study used cluster analysis to explore prominent personality traits among a sample of suicidal psychiatric patients (n = 86), with a goal of identifying distinct clusters based on descriptive personality traits as measured by the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II (MCMI-II). Three clusters were identified, accounting for 97% of study participants with available data. Additional analyses were conducted to explore differences and similarities among the three groups. The three clusters were comparable with respect to symptomatology (i.e., depression, anxiety, hopelessness), psychiatric diagnoses, and negative life stress, suggesting that cluster differences were not due to severity of disturbance (i.e., symptom severity) or diagnosis. Although all three clusters evidenced prominent negativistic and avoidant traits and two of the clusters showed prominent borderline traits, each was characterized by a distinct trait with implications for interpersonal functioning. Results are discussed in terms of implications for treatment and future research, particularly the importance of the therapeutic relationship with suicidal patients.

Publication Title

Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

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