Validity and reactivity of a system of self-monitoring suicide ideation

  • George A. Clum
  • Lisa Curtin


The present study describes the rationale and validation of a self-monitoring approach for suicide ideation. A sample of 49 severely ideating 18- to 24-year-old college students volunteering for a treatment study for chronic ideators served as subjects. A three-item self-monitoring scale designed to assess the strength, duration, and level of control relative to suicide ideation was designed and utilized. Positive correlations with previously validated measures of suicide ideation support the validity of the use of self-monitoring. In addition, positive relationships with measures of depression and hopelessness provide evidence of concurrent validity. There was no evidence that self-monitoring and concomitant increased attention to ideation increased suicidality. In fact, decreases were noted in measures of suicide ideation following a 2-week period of self-monitoring. Together these findings support the addition of self-monitoring to the list of dependent measures for addressing suicidal behavior.

Key words

suicide ideation self-monitoring 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beck, A. T., Kovacs, M., & Weissman, A. (1979). Assessment of suicidal ideation: The scale for suicide ideation.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 343–352.Google Scholar
  2. Beck, A., Weissman, A., Lester, D., & Trexler, L. (1974). The measurement of pessimism: The hopelessness scale.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 861–865.Google Scholar
  3. Clum, G. A., Priester, M. J., Weaver, T., Putnam, D., Pickett, C., Gould, R., Yang, B., Weise, K., & Curtin, L. (1992).Group problem-solving and group social support treatments for chronic suicide ideation. Poster presented at the 25th International Congress of Psychology, Brussels, Belgium, July.Google Scholar
  4. Hollon, S. D., & Garber, J. (1990). Cognitive therapy for depression: A social cognitive approach.Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 58–73.Google Scholar
  5. Loranger, A. (1988).Personality disorder examination. New York: D.V. Communications.Google Scholar
  6. Miller, I. W., Norman, W. H., Bishop, S. B., & Dow, M. G. (1986). The Modified Scale for Suicidal Ideation: Reliability and validity.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 724–725.Google Scholar
  7. Nelson, R. O. (1977). Methodological issues in assessment via self-monitoring. In J. D. Cone & R. P. Hawkins (Eds.),Behavioral assessment: New directions in clinical psychology (pp. 217–240). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  8. Range, L. M., & Antonelli, K. B. (1990). A factor analysis of six commonly used instruments associated with suicide using college students.Journal of Personality Assessment, 55, 801–811.Google Scholar
  9. Rudd, M. D. (1989). The prevalence of suicidal ideation among college students.Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 19, 173–183.Google Scholar
  10. Sherer, M. (1985). Depression and suicidal ideation in college students.Psychological Reports, 57, 1061–1062.Google Scholar
  11. Spitzer, R. L., Williams, J. B. W., Gibbon, M., & First, M. B. (1992). The structural clinical interview for DSM-III-R (SCID). I: History, rationale and description.Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 624–629.Google Scholar
  12. Steiger, J. H. (1980). Tests for comparing elements of a correlation matrix.Psychological Bulletin, 87, 245–251.Google Scholar
  13. Westefeld, J. S., & Furr, S. R. (1987). Suicide and depression among college students.Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 18, 119–123.Google Scholar
  14. Zung, W. (1965). A self-rating depression scale.Archives of General Psychiatry, 12, 63–70.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • George A. Clum
    • 1
  • Lisa Curtin
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia TechBlacksburg

Personalised recommendations