The role of hope and optimism in suicide risk for American Indians/Alaska natives

Victoria M. O'Keefe, Laricka R. Wingate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are some American Indian/Alaska Native communities that exhibit high rates of suicide. The interpersonal theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005) posits that lethal suicidal behavior is likely preceded by the simultaneous presence of thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability. Past research has shown that hope and optimism are negatively related to suicidal ideation, some of the constructs in the interpersonal theory of suicide, and suicide risk for the general population. This is the first study to investigate hope and optimism in relation to suicidal ideation, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability for American Indians/Alaska Natives. Results showed that hope and optimism negatively predicted thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicidal ideation. However, these results were not found for acquired capability. Overall, this study suggests that higher levels of hope and optimism are associated with lower levels of suicidal ideation, thwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness in this American Indian/Alaska Native sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-633
Number of pages13
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume43
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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