Document Type

Article

Publication Date

February 2005

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

Volume

73

Issue

1

Abstract

Few studies have examined the relationship between life events, suicide attempts, and personality disorders (PDs), in spite of the strong associations between PDs and suicidal behavior, and the poor coping strategies often exhibited by these individuals. The authors examined whether participants with PDs who attempted suicide during the first 3 years of a prospective, longitudinal study were more likely to experience specific life events in the month during and preceding the suicide attempt. Of 489 participants with PDs, 61 attempted suicide during the 3-year, follow-up interval. Results indicated that negative life events, particularly those pertaining to love-marriage or crime-legal matters, were significant predictors of suicide attempts, even after controlling for baseline diagnoses of borderline PD, major depressive disorders, substance use disorders, and a history of childhood sexual abuse. Therefore, certain types of negative life events are unique risk factors for imminent suicide attempts among individuals with PDs.