Predictors of suicide-related ideation among older adults: exploring the role of impulsivity

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Keywords: 
Older people-mental health
Older people–suicide
Suicide-psychological aspects
Elderly
Hopelessness
Impulsivity
Suicidal ideation
Abstract: 

Research has demonstrated that impulsivity is strongly associated with suicide-related ideation and behaviour among young adults. To date, however, the potential importance of impulsivity as a predictor of suicide-related ideation in later life has yet to be determined. The current study set out to examine impulsivity, hopelessness, depressive symptomatology and socio-demographic factors vis-à-vis suicide-related ideation among a sample of older adults using both hierarchical regression and canonical correlation. A national sample was recruited from multiple sources for this study over a 1-year period (N = 117). Canonical correlation analysis showed that the impulse to self-harm may be more pronounced among older adults less likely to present as typically depressed. The findings of this study further suggest that impulsivity is more broadly associated with suicide-related ideation than hopelessness, and that screening for impulsivity as well as hopelessness may increase clinicians’ ability to identify older adults at greatest risk for self-harm.

Description: 
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Language: 
English
Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
N
Department: 
Out of date: Gerontology Program - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)
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