The Function of Personality in Suicidal Ideation from the Perspective of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 03 30; 15(4)IJ
The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS) has been increasingly studied over the last years, responding to the demand for a valid framework addressing suicidality. Yet, only a few studies have explored the function of personality in the IPTS and none with clinical patients. We aimed to contribute to fill this gap in investigating the relationship between personality as conceptualized by the Five-Factor Model, the IPTS constructs, and a dimensional measure of current suicidal ideation. We conducted correlation, multiple linear regression, and path analyses based on a trait-interpersonal framework in a sample of 201 individuals visiting the psychiatric emergency room of a general hospital with current suicidal ideation. Neuroticism (positively) and openness (negatively) predicted perceived burdensomeness, while neuroticism (positively) and extraversion (negatively) predicted thwarted belongingness. Higher conscientiousness and lower extraversion were both predictors of the acquired capability for suicide. However, none of the models involving path analyses with IPTS variables as mediators of the relationship between personality traits and suicidal ideation was adequately adjusted to the data. Thus, it appears that personality plays a significant albeit modest role in suicidality when considered from an IPTS perspective. As personality is frequently assessed in the clinical routine, health professionals should consider it as complementary to detect individuals at risk of or presenting suicidal ideation.