Forms of suicide communication are not associated with five-factor personality

Published date22 February 2020
Date22 February 2020
AuthorKaitlyn R. Schuler,Natasha Basu,Nicholas A. Fadoir,Laura Marie,Phillip N. Smith
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression,conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology,policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
Forms of suicide communication are not
associated with ve-factor personality
Kaitlyn R. Schuler, Natasha Basu, Nicholas A. Fadoir, Laura Marie and Phillip N. Smith
Purpose US age-adjusted suiciderates increased by 33 per cent from 1999 to 2017 (Hedegardet al.,
2018). Communicationsabout suicide and death are a commonly cited warning sign (SPRC, 2014)and
are foundational to the vast majorityof risk assessment, prevention and intervention practices. Suicidal
communications are critically understudied despite their implications for prevention and intervention
practices. The purposeof this study is to examine the association between five factormodel personality
traits andforms of suicidal communications.
Design/methodology/approach A sample of 154 people admitted to emergency psychiatry for
suicide ideation or attempt completed self-report measures about their suicide ideation and behavior.
KruskalWallis ANOVAexamined differences between five-factor modelpersonality domains and forms
of communications.
Findings There were no significant differences; however, two nonsignificanttrends related to indirect
or non-communicationand extraversion and opennessemerged.
Research limitations/implications Future studies shouldfocus on using more nuanced measures of
dimensionalpersonality and suicidal communications.
Originality/value This study is the first to examine differences in the Five-Factor Model personality
traits andsuicidal communications.
Keywords Extraversion, Suicide communication, Suicide ideation, Suicide disclosure,
Five-factor model personality, Openness
Paper type Research paper
United States’ age-adjusted suicide rates increased by 33 per cent from 1999 to 2017
(Hedegaard et al.,2018). Suicide is the culmination of a series of experiences that are
often painful, provocative or traumatic (Joiner, 2005), and communication of suicidal
thoughts may occur for some people along this journey. These communications may
be the only warning sign that someone is considering taking the ir life (Suicide
Prevention Resource Center, 2014), and therefore indicate a critical and potentially
life-saving point of intervention. A recent meta-analysis of 36 studies and 14,601
decedents on direct, verbal suicide intent communication (Pompili et al.,2016)
reported that nearly half (44.5 per cent) of decedents verbally communicate suicide
intent. The vast majority of these studies report merely on prevalence rather than
individual differences in forms and functions of suicidal communication. Because
suicidal communications are the basis for nearly all forms of intervention and risk
assessment, there is an urgent need to substantially increase our understanding of
which factors most influence how someone communicates their thoughts of suic ide.
Personality is one potentially salient individual difference. No prior studies examine
dimensional models of personality and suicidal communications. Therefore, this study
aims to examine which of the five-factor model (FFM) of personality traits are
associated with forms of verbal suicidal communications.
Kaitlyn R. Schuler,
Natasha Basu,
Nicholas A. Fadoir,
Laura Marie and
Phillip N. Smith are all
based at the Department of
Psychology, University of
South Alabama, Mobile,
Alabama, USA.
Received 21 December 2019
Revised 14 January 2020
Accepted 16 January 2020
The current study is a
secondary data analysis of
data from a study funded by
the Young Investigator Grant,
American Foundation for
Suicide Prevention
(YIG-0-10-286) during
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-12-2019-0465 VOL. 12 NO. 2 2020,pp. 45-54, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599 jJOURNAL OF AGGRESSION, CONFLICT AND PEACE RESEARCH jPAGE 45

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