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Compr Psychiatry. 2004 Sep-Oct;45(5):353-61.

Personality and attempted suicide in depressed adults 50 years of age and older: a facet level analysis.

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Laboratory of Personality and Development, Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY 14642, USA.


We examined the contribution of personality traits to attempted suicide, the number of suicidal attempts, and suicidal ideation in a sample of depressed inpatients. Personality was assessed via the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R). Bivariate analyses showed that suicide attempters were more self-conscious, self-effacing, impulsive, and vulnerable to stress, and less warm, gregarious, and inclined to experience positive emotions. Multivariate regression analyses controlling for age, gender, severity of depression, and psychiatric comorbidity showed that patients with a lifetime history of attempted suicide were less inclined to experience positive emotions and be more self-effacing. Patients with more severe suicidal ideation were less warm and more self-effacing. Results indicated that specific personality traits confer risk for suicidal behaviors in middle age and older adults. Interventions tailored to specific personality profiles in this high-risk group should be developed, and their efficacy examined.

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