Refinement of the Role of Hopelessness in the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: An Exploration in an Inpatient Adolescent Sample

Daniel Elledge, Lucas Zullo, Betsy Kennard, Andrew Diederich, Graham Emslie, Sunita Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Hopelessness is a well-established risk factor for suicidal ideation. Recent research has indicated that hopelessness can be split into two subsets: pessimism (PESS) and lack of optimism (LOO) and that LOO is more salient of the two in predicting suicide ideation (SI). The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of PESS and LOO to SI in the context of the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS). Participants were 294 inpatient adolescents. LOO but not PESS was associated with SI. LOO interacted with the IPTS variable of perceived burdensomeness to differentiate between passive and active SI, partly consistent with the theory. These results support the value of separating the two components of hopelessness in understanding adolescent SI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • adolescents
  • hopelessness
  • lack of optimism
  • pessimism
  • suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this