Self-esteem and suicide ideation in psychiatric outpatients

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2008 Oct;38(5):511-6. doi: 10.1521/suli.2008.38.5.511.


Depression, hopelessness, and low self-esteem are implicated as vulnerability factors for suicide ideation. The association of self-esteem with suicide ideation after controlling for depressed mood and hopelessness was examined. Adult psychiatric outpatients (N = 338) completed measures of self-esteem, suicide ideation, hopelessness, and depression. Self-esteem was operationalized as beliefs about oneself (self-based self-esteem) and beliefs about how other people regard oneself (other-based self-esteem). Each dimension of self-esteem was negatively associated with suicide ideation after controlling for depression and hopelessness. Of the two dimensions of self-esteem, other-based self-esteem was the more robust predictor of suicide ideation. These findings suggest that even in the context of depression and hopelessness, low self-esteem may add to the risk for suicide ideation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Self Concept*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires