Personality subtypes of suicidal adults

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 Sep;197(9):687-94. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181b3b13f.


Research into personality factors related to suicidality suggests substantial variability among suicide attempters. A potentially useful approach that accounts for this complexity is personality subtyping. As part of a large sample looking at personality pathology, this study used Q-factor analysis to identify subtypes of 311 adult suicide attempters using Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure-II personality profiles. Identified subtypes included internalizing, emotionally dysregulated, dependent, hostile-isolated, psychopathic, and anxious somatizing. Subtypes differed in hypothesized ways on criterion variables that address their construct validity, including adaptive functioning, Axis I and II comorbidity, and etiology-related variables (e.g., history of abuse). Furthermore, dimensional ratings of the subtypes predicted adaptive functioning above DSM-based diagnoses and symptoms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / classification
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder / classification
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality / classification
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personality Disorders / classification*
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Q-Sort / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data*