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The Function of Personality in Suicidal Ideation from the Perspective of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide

Service of General Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Nant Foundation, Avenue des Alpes 66, 1820 Montreux, Switzerland
Faculty of Psychology, University of Geneva, Boulevard du Pont d’Arve 40, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Psychiatry Department, SS. Antonio e Biagio e Cesare Arrigo Hospital, Via Venezia 16, 15521 Alessandria, Italy
Executive and General Management Service, Nant Foundation, 1804 Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland
Division of Institutional Measures, Medical Direction, Geneva University Hospitals, Les Voirons—Chemin du Petit-Bel-Air 2, 1225 Chêne-Bourg, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 636;
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Suicide Research)
PDF [393 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: personality; Five-Factor Model; Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide; suicidal ideation personality; Five-Factor Model; Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide; suicidal ideation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Baertschi, M.; Costanza, A.; Canuto, A.; Weber, K. The Function of Personality in Suicidal Ideation from the Perspective of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 636.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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