The intensity of suicidal ideation at the worst point and its association with suicide attempts

Keyne C. Law, Hyejin M. Jin, Michael D. Anestis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study seeks to determine if the severity of suicidal ideation at the worst point can differentiate individuals who think about suicide (ideators) from those who make a suicide attempt (attempters). Subsequently, the indirect effect of worst point ideation on differentiating ideators from attempters through various pathways such as an increased capability for suicide, painful and provocative experiences, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), and planning for suicide was examined. The sample included 229 adults with a lifetime history of suicidal ideation who were recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk program and asked to complete a battery of self-report questionnaires. Furthermore, the sample was oversampled on the basis of prior suicide attempts. Our results suggest that there is a strong relationship between worst point ideation and suicide attempts such that there is a greater likelihood of endorsing past suicide attempts when individuals reported high intensity at the worst point of their suicidal ideation. An elevated level of painful and provocative events partially accounted for the aforementioned relationship while a heightened capability for suicide. The results from the present study suggest utility in managing intensity of suicidal ideation and the importance of addressing painful and provocative behaviors to prevent potentially lethal suicide attempts in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-528
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Capability
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Suicide attempts


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