Prevalence of and risk factors for suicide attempt versus suicide gestures: Analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey

Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 09/2006; 115(3):616-23. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.115.3.616
Source: PubMed


Definitions and classification schemes for suicide attempts vary widely among studies, introducing conceptual, methodological, and clinical problems. We tested the importance of the intent to die criterion by comparing self-injurers with intent to die, suicide attempters, and those who self-injured not to die but to communicate with others, suicide gesturers, using data from the National Comorbidity Survey (n = 5,877). Suicide attempters (prevalence = 2.7%) differed from suicide gesturers (prevalence = 1.9%) and were characterized by male gender, fewer years of education, residence in the southern and western United States; psychiatric diagnoses including depressive, impulsive, and aggressive symptoms; comorbidity; and history of multiple physical and sexual assaults. It is possible and useful to distinguish between self-injurers on the basis of intent to die.

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Available from: Matthew K Nock, May 20, 2014
    • "Further detail about this limitation is provided in the Discussion section. Suicide attempts (46.5%) occurred at a rate higher than estimated for the general U.S. population, which has a selfreported lifetime suicide rate of approximately 4.6% (Nock & Kessler, 2006). Table 2 explores the predictor variables of interest by lifetime suicide attempt. "
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    • "While it is hard to understand, these behaviors and thoughts help people stay alive and manage their feelings and relationships. Current studies suggest that more than half (52.9%) reported they use the behavior to " stop bad feelings " and not to die (Nock & Kessler, 2006). Further studies have shown that suicidal individuals who self-injure typically make suicide attempts during periods of time when they are not using self-injury to manage (Gratz, 2006). "
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    • "Demographic and clinical differences between NSB and suicide gestures (SG) have been investigated in literature. SG in general has been found to be more common between women (Nock 2006). In another study patients who attempted suicide were more likely to be older in age and to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and/or narcisistic personality disorder. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Nonfatal suicidal behaviours (NSB), including suicide ideation, suicide plan and suicide attempt, constitute a serious problem for public healthcare services. Suicide gesture (SG) which refers to self-injurious behaviour with no intent to die, differs from NSB in a variety of important ways. The aim of this study was to investigate demographic and clinical characteristics of NSB and SG to examine whether self-injurers with intent to die differ significantly from self injurers without such intent.
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