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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Feb 3. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12074. [Epub ahead of print]

Basic Psychological Needs, Suicidal Ideation, and Risk for Suicidal Behavior in Young Adults.

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  • 1Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua Medical Center, VISN 2 Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Canandaigua, NY, USA; Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.


Associations between the satisfaction of basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness with current suicidal ideation and risk for suicidal behavior were examined. Two logistic regressions were conducted with a cross-sectional database of 440 university students to examine the association of need satisfaction with suicidal ideation and risk for suicidal behavior, while controlling for demographics and depressive symptoms. Suicidal ideation was reported by 15% of participants and 18% were found to be at risk for suicidal behavior. A one standard deviation increase in need satisfaction reduced the odds of suicidal ideation by 53%, OR (95% CI) = 0.47 (0.33-0.67), and the odds of being at risk for suicidal behavior by 50%, OR (95% CI) = 0.50 (0.37-0.69). Young adults whose basic psychological needs are met may be less likely to consider suicide and engage in suicidal behavior. Prospective research is needed to confirm these associations.

© Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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