Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 796–804 | Cite as

An Examination of Optimism/Pessimism and Suicide Risk in Primary Care Patients: Does Belief in a Changeable Future Make a Difference?

  • Edward C. Chang
  • Elizabeth A. Yu
  • Jenny Y. Lee
  • Jameson K. Hirsch
  • Yvonne Kupfermann
  • Emma R. Kahle
Original Article

Abstract

An integrative model involving optimism/pessimism and future orientation as predictors of suicide risk (viz., depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior) was tested in a sample of adult, primary care patients. Beyond the additive influence of the two predictors of suicide risk, optimism/pessimism and future orientation were also hypothesized to interact together to exacerbate suicide risk. Results indicated that optimism/pessimism was a robust predictor of suicide risk in adults. Future orientation was found to add significant incremental validity to the prediction of depressive symptoms, but not of suicidal behavior. Noteworthy, the optimism/pessimism × future orientation interaction was found to significantly augment the prediction of both depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior. Implications for therapeutic enhancement of future-oriented constructs in the treatment of suicidal individuals are discussed.

Keywords

Optimism/pessimism Future orientation Adults Primary care Suicide risk 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward C. Chang
    • 1
  • Elizabeth A. Yu
    • 1
  • Jenny Y. Lee
    • 1
  • Jameson K. Hirsch
    • 2
  • Yvonne Kupfermann
    • 1
  • Emma R. Kahle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA

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