Positive Expectancies for the Future as Potential Protective Factors of Suicide Risk in Adults: Does Optimism and Hope Predict Suicidal Behaviors in Primary Care Patients?

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The present study sought to examine optimism and hope as predictors of suicidal behaviors (viz., suicide ideation and suicide attempt) in a sample of 179 adult primary care patients. Furthermore, we aimed to determine if the combination of hope and optimism would account for additional variance in the prediction model for suicidal behaviors among this population. In this cross-sectional study, participants completed measures of hope (viz., agency and pathways), optimism, and suicidal behaviors, as well as a series of demographics questions. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test the aforementioned hypotheses. Results indicated that hope and optimism were both significant and unique predictors of suicidal behaviors among adult primary care patients. However, the hope-by-optimism interaction terms were not found to be significant. Some implications of the present findings are discussed.