Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 393-398

Do personality traits such as impulsivity and hostility-aggressiveness predict severity of intent in attempted suicide? Findings from a record based study in South India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Vikas Menon
Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry - 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.168563

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Background: Little is known about the association of personality traits with intent in attempted suicide. Aims: Our objectives were to assess the levels of selected personality factors among suicide attempters and to examine their association with suicide intent. Materials and Methods: A chart review of 156 consecutive suicide attempters was carried out. All participants were administered the Beck Suicide Intent Scale, Barratt Impulsivity Scale-11, Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire, and Past Feelings and Acts of Violence Scale to assess suicide intent, trait impulsivity, hostility-aggression, and violence, respectively. Pearson's product moment correlation was the used as the test of association. Stepwise linear regression was used to identify predictors of suicide intent. Results: Suicide intent was significantly correlated with verbal aggression (Pearson r = 0.90, P = 0.030), hostility (Pearson r = 0.316, P < 0.001), and nonplanning impulsivity (r = -0.174, P = 0.049). High hostility and low motor impulsivity emerged as significant predictors of suicide intent. Conclusion: Personality traits such as hostility and to an extent, impulsivity are accurate predictors of intentionality in attempted suicide. Clinicians should focus on these personality attributes during a routine evaluation of suicide attempters. They can also be considered as potential targets for suicide prevention programs.

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