Objectives: There is a substantial level of evidence that affirmative attitudes towards suicide are connected to suicidality (suicide ideation, suicide attempts and completed suicide). Hopelessness is proved to be one of the best available predictors of the suicide risk. A hypothesis that attitudes can serve as mediating variable between hopelessness and suicidality was proposed in recent studies (Gibb et al., 2006). The main aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that interaction between attitudes towards suicide and hopelessness will be a better predictor of suicidality than hopelessness.
Methods: Different aspects of attitudes towards suicide and suicidality were measured with Questionnaire on Attitudes Towards Suicide (ATTS). Hopelessness level was assessed with Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). The study was conducted in the sample of Lithuanian army conscripts (N = 368) aged between 18 and 26 (mean age was 20.46; SD = 1.29).
Results: Suicidality index significantly correlated both with hopelessness (r = .45, p < .01) and various aspects of attitudes towards suicide. The strongest correlation was between acceptance of suicide and suicidality index (r = .36, p < .01), but we have also found significant correlations between five other aspects of attitudes and suicidality. Significant correlations between hopelessness and various aspects of attitudes towards suicide were found. Variables using hierarchical stepwise model were entered into multiple regression model. Hopelessness accounted for 21.1% of suicidality variance. Attitudes towards suicide, added into regression model on second step, increased prediction of suicidality to 34.2%.
Conclusions: Results of this study show that different aspects of attitudes towards suicide correlate with the suicide risk. Correlation between hopelessness and suicidality was confirmed as well. Finally, the results indicate that attitudes towards suicide are significant predictors of suicide risk. Interaction of attitudes towards suicide and hopelessness predicts suicide risk better than hopelessness. Results of present study have confirmed, that attitudes towards suicide are significant mediators between hopelessness and suicidality.
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