Preferences in information processing and suicide: Results from a young adult health survey in the United Kingdom

Robert J. Cramer , Susan Rasmussen, Wesley B. Webber, Victoria L. Sime, Caitlin Haile, Claire McFadden, Moira C. McManus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Suicide prevention literature currently suffers from inconsistent measurement and incomplete theoretical development. Aims: Using a recommended suicide measurement approach for epidemiological studies (i.e. the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire–Revised (SBQ-R)), the present investigation assessed United Kingdom young adult suicide prevalence rates. This study also investigated the utility of a Preferences in Information Processing (PIP) model of suicide in identifying those at increased odds for elevated suicide risk, as well as lifetime ideation and attempt. Method: A cross-sectional mental health and well-being survey study (n = 414) was conducted. Results: The prevalence rates of elevated risk (49.8%), lifetime ideation only (55.3%) and lifetime attempt (13.5%) were high. Bivariate associations demonstrated that elevated depression, anxiety and Need for Affect (NFA) Avoidance were associated with worsened suicide outcomes, whereas elevated Need for Cognition (NFC) was associated with decreased suicide risk. Logistic regression results identified depression and NFA Avoidance as the strongest predictors of elevated suicide risk. Multinomial logistic regression results established several PIP-based moderation effects for depression and anxiety in which NFA Approach and NFC differentially influenced odds of suicide attempt group membership. Conclusion: The SBQ-R is an appropriate tool for UK young adult suicide research. NFA and NFC demonstrated potential for inclusion in young adult suicide prevention programming. Further research is needed to fully evaluate the PIP model of suicide and effectiveness of proposed theory-based approaches to suicide prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number1
Early online date29 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • suicide
  • need for affect
  • need for cognition
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • young adult


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