Thinking or Doing? An Examination of Well-Establied Suicide Correlates Within the Ideation-To-Action Framework

Lauren R. Khazem, University of Southern Mississippi
Michael D. Anestis, University of Southern Mississippi


Limited research has examined differences in well-established suicide correlates between individuals with various histories of suicidality within the ideation to action framework. We hypothesized that individuals without a history of elevated suicidality would exhibit lowest levels of suicide correlates (perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, emotion dysregulation, depressive symptoms), and group differences would not be present between those with a history of suicidal ideation relative to those with a history of suicide attempts on variables not theorized to contribute to the capability for suicide. Lastly, we hypothesized that those with a prior history of suicide attempt(s) would exhibit higher levels of lifetime painful and provocative events and fearlessness about death relative to those with a history of ideation only. A community sample of adults (N=378) recruited in part on the basis of a history of suicidality completed self-report questionnaires online. The results were largely consistent with our hypotheses. However, there were no differences in fearlessness about death between those with a history of suicidal ideation and those with a history of attempts. Many variables considered robust correlates of suicide may only directly relate to suicidal ideation rather than suicide attempts, thereby limiting their utility in understanding the transition from ideation to action.