• Alcohol or substance use disorder, conduct disorder, and impulsivity/sensation-seeking often co-occur and represent particular suicide risk for youth.

The evidence regarding the links between suicide and aggression/ impulsivity is growing. This relationship requires additional attention, particularly regarding its developmental etiology.

  • Hopelessness is related to suicidality across age, diagnoses, and severity of disorder, yet the field lacks research on the pathways to hopelessness, interrelationships between hopelessness and other psychological aspects of suicide risk, and on the specific effects of reducing hopelessness on suicide. Effective treatments exist for reducing hopelessness.

Clinical trials are needed on the specific effects of reducing hopelessness on suicide.

  • Optimism and coping skills enhance both mental and physical health. Research suggests that these can be taught. The opportunity for building resilience through modification of coping and cognitive styles appears potent, but effects of such interventions on suicidality remains largely untested.

Evaluation of mental health promotion programs is needed on the efficacy of reducing suicide via resilience enhancement.


Abramson LY, Alloy LB, Hogan ME, Whitehouse WG, Cornette M, Akhavan S, Chiara A. 1998. Suicidality and cognitive vulnerability to depression among college students: A prospective study. Journal of Adolescence, 21(4): 473-487.

Abramson LY, Alloy LB, Hogan ME, Whitehouse WG, Gibb BE, Hankin BL, Cornette MM. 2000. The hopelessness theory of suicidality. In: Joiner TE, Rudd MD, Editors. Suicide Science: Expanding the Boundaries. (pp. 17-32). Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Abramson LY, Seligman MEP, Teasdale JD. 1978. Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87: 49-74.

Ahrens B, Haug HJ. 1996. Suicidality in hospitalized patients with a primary diagnosis of personality disorder. Crisis, 17(2): 59-63.

Alda M. 1997. Bipolar disorder: From families to genes. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 42(4): 378-487.

Aldwin CM, Levenson MR, Spiro A 3rd, Bosse R. 1989. Does emotionality predict stress? Findings from the normative aging study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(4): 618-624.

Allgulander C. 2000. Psychiatric aspects of suicidal behaviour: Anxiety disorders. In: Hawton K, van Heeringen K, Editors. The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide. (pp. 179-192). Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Allgulander C, Lavori PW. 1991. Excess mortality among 3302 patients with ‘pure’ anxiety neurosis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48(7): 599-602.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement