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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1998 Winter;28(4):395-406.

Dimensions of perfectionism, hopelessness, and attempted suicide in a sample of alcoholics.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


This study assessed whether specific dimensions of perfectionism and hopelessness were elevated in individuals who had made a serious suicide attempt in comparison to individuals with no history of suicide attempts. A sample of 39 inpatients with alcoholism who had made a serious suicide attempt and a matched sample of 39 inpatients with alcoholism but no history of suicide attempts completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, the Hopelessness Scale, ratings of achievement and social hopelessness, and the Beck Depression Inventory. The attempter group had higher scores on socially prescribed perfectionism, generalized hopelessness, achievement hopelessness, social hopelessness, and depression. A discriminant function analysis revealed that depression, social hopelessness, socially prescribed perfectionism, and other-oriented perfectionism were unique discriminators of the suicide groups. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of social personality variables in attempted suicide.

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