Defeat and entrapment in schizophrenia: the relationship with suicidal ideation and positive psychotic symptoms

Psychiatry Res. 2010 Jul 30;178(2):244-8. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2009.10.015. Epub 2010 May 15.


The current study tests whether perceptions of defeat and entrapment are the psychological mechanisms underlying the link between positive psychotic symptoms and suicidal ideation in schizophrenia. A sample of 78 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders completed self-report measures and a clinical interview. Of this sample, 21.8% reported a single past suicide attempt and 50% reported multiple past attempts. It was found that perceptions of defeat and entrapment, conceptualised as a single variable, accounted for a large proportion (31%) of the variance in suicidal ideation and behaviour. Defeat and entrapment also mediated the relationship between positive symptom severity and suicidal ideation. This result held whilst controlling for levels of hopelessness and depression. Secondary analyses suggested that suspiciousness in particular was linked to suicidal ideation. The results support a socio-cognitive model (The Schematic Appraisals Model of Suicide: SAMS) of suicide in psychosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation*
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*