Impulsive suicidal behavior

J Clin Psychol. 1980 Jan;36(1):90-4. doi: 10.1002/1097-4679(198001)36:1<90::aid-jclp2270360104>;2-f.


Previous studies have noted that a considerable proportion of suicidal behavior is impulsive. The present study aimed to ascertain the degree to which this was so and to consider whether impulsive attempters differed from non-impulsive attempters on variables such as demographic and motivational factors and circumstances that surrounded the occurrence of the act. Based on a criterion of less than 5 minutes' premeditation, 40% of two large, consecutive series were judged to have acted impulsively. While few variables differentiated between the two groups, impulsive attempters were less depressed, motivated by the desire to reduce tension, more likely to consider that they would survive, and to report that someone saw them perform the act.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Impulsive Behavior / psychology*
  • Male
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology*