Family Connectedness Moderates the Association Between Living Alone and Suicide Ideation in a Clinical Sample of Adults 50 Years and Older

Department of Psychiatry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.
The American journal of geriatric psychiatry: official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.24). 11/2011; 20(8):717-23. DOI: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31822ccd79
Source: PubMed


To investigate whether living alone is significantly associated with expression of suicide ideation among mood-disordered mental health patients and whether degree of family connectedness moderates the association between living alone and expression of suicide ideation.
Cross-sectional survey design.
Inpatient and outpatient mental health services in Rochester, New York.
A total of 130-mood-disordered inpatients and outpatients 50 years and older.
Patients completed a demographics form, an interviewer-rated measure of current suicide ideation (Scale for Suicide Ideation), and a self-report measure of family connectedness derived from the Reasons for Living Scale-Older Adult version.
Patients who reported greater family connectedness were significantly less likely to report suicide ideation; this protective effect was strongest for those living with others (Wald χ(2)[df = 1] = 3.987, p = 0.046, OR = 0.905; 95% CI = 0.821-0.998). A significant main effect of family connectedness on suicide ideation suggested that having a stronger connection to family members decreased the likelihood of reporting suicide ideation (Wald χ(2)[df = 1] = 9.730, p = 0.002, OR = 0.852; 95% CI = 0.771-0.942).
These results suggest potential value in assessing the quality of interpersonal relationships when conducting a suicide risk assessment among depressed middle-aged and older adults.

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    • "etween RFL and suicide ideation is further suggestive of the potentially robust effect of this variable in promoting life and preventing thoughts of suicide . In addition to RFL and MIL , research supports perceptions of PIL ( Heisel & Flett , 2004 ) , and positive interpersonal relationships ( Neufeld , Hirdes , Perl - man , & Rabinowitz , 2015 ; Purcell et al . , 2012 ; Rowe , Conwell , Schulberg , & Bruce , 2006 ) in potentially confer - ring resiliency to suicide ideation and behavior . Research - ers are thus encouraged to build on these positive findings by incorporating assessment of RFL , MIL , and other posi - tive psychological factors into longitudinal and / or inter - ventional research inv"
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To investigate the roles of Reasons for Living (RFL) and Meaning in Life (MIL) in potentially promoting mental health and well-being and protecting against suicide ideation among community-residing older adults and to investigate the psychometric properties of the Reasons for Living Scale-Older Adult Version (RFL-OA). Method: Of 173 older adults initially recruited into a longitudinal study on late-life suicide ideation, 109 completed the RFL-OA and measures of cognitive and physical functioning and positive and negative psychological factors at a two-year follow-up assessment. We tested a model in which RFL and MIL protect against suicide ideation, controlling for demographic and clinical factors. We also assessed the psychometric properties of the RFL-OA in community-residing older adults, investigating its internal consistency and its convergent (MIL, perceived social support, and life satisfaction), divergent (loneliness, depressive symptom severity, and suicide ideation), and discriminant validity (cognitive and physical functioning). Results: RFL-OA scores explained significant variance in suicide ideation, controlling for age, sex, depressive symptom severity, and loneliness. MIL explained significant unique variance in suicide ideation, controlling for these factors and RFL, and MIL significantly mediated the association between RFL and suicide ideation. Psychometric analyses indicated strong internal consistency (α=.94), convergent, divergent, and discriminant validity for the RFL-OA relative to positive and negative psychological factors and cognitive and physical functioning. Conclusion: These findings add to a growing body of literature suggesting merit in investigating positive psychological factors together with negative factors when assessing suicide risk and planning psychological services for older adults.
    Aging and Mental Health 08/2015; DOI:10.1080/13607863.2015.1078279 · 1.75 Impact Factor
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    • "For instance, depression had been reported to affect 50% of patients following myocardial infarction or coronary arterial disease; 50% with DM-2; and 50% of people with cancer (McLachlan, 2011). On the other hand, the literature pictured perceived social support as an important psychosocial factor that affects the SI among those diagnosed with chronic illnesses (Purcell et al., 2012; Tol et al., 2011). However, we found that patients with chronic illnesses had a moderate perception of social support in all forms. "
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