Prospective predictors of suicidality: defeat and entrapment lead to changes in suicidal ideation over time

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2011 Jun;41(3):297-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2011.00029.x. Epub 2011 Apr 4.


Theoretical perspectives into suicidality have suggested that heightened perceptions of defeat and entrapment lead to suicidality. However, all previous empirical work has been cross-sectional. We provide the first longitudinal test of the theoretical predictions, in a sample of 79 students who reported suicidality. Participants completed self-report measures of suicidal ideation, depression, defeat, and entrapment at two time points, approximately 12 months apart. People higher in defeat became more suicidal over time (β= .45), with baseline levels of suicidality and depressive symptoms controlled. The current results support the posited role of perceived defeat in driving suicidal ideation.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Self Report
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*