Evaluating chronic suicide risk with the Personality Assessment Inventory: Development and initial validation of the Chronic Suicide Risk Index (S_Chron)

Psychiatry Res. 2016 Nov 30;245:443-450. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.08.048. Epub 2016 Aug 22.


The current study sought to develop and validate a new measure of chronic suicide risk (the S_Chron) from the Personality Assessment Inventory in a mixed sample of psychiatric inpatients and outpatients. In an initial development sample (N=397), hierarchical logistic regression identified six PAI variables uniquely associated with multiple versus single/no prior suicide attempts after controlling for sample demographics: Negative Impression Management, Situational Stress, Mania - Grandiosity, Borderline - Negative Relationships, Borderline - Self-Harm, and Antisocial Behaviors. These indicators were then aggregated into a single index (S_Chron) and evaluated in terms of validity in an independent clinical sample (N=398). Results indicated the S_Chron effectively differentiated between groups with multiple versus single/no prior suicide attempts, even after controlling for the effects of the PAI Suicidal Ideation (SUI) and Suicide Potential (SPI) indices, with moderate to large effect sizes observed (range of Cohen's d's=0.30-0.91). Further, the S_Chron incremented all other PAI indices and SUI in predicting multiple suicide attempts. The potential clinical application and ways in which the S_Chron may augment other existing measures of suicide risk are discussed.

Keywords: Chronic suicide risk; Multiple suicide attempts; PAI; Personality Assessment Inventory; S_Chron; Suicide.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Suicide / psychology*