Advances in Mental Health, Vol 12, No 1 (2013)

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Longitudinal Analysis of the Emotion Self-Confidence Model of Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents

Stephanie Tamsin Deeley, Anthony William Love

Abstract


To explain the emergence of suicidal ideation within an individual we developed the emotion self-confidence model of suicidal ideation. The model proposes that, when faced with the stressor of negative emotionality, an individual with low expectations for coping with or changing the negative emotionality (low emotion self-confidence) is more likely to consider suicidal ideation. A preliminary study in adolescents supported this hypothesis. The present paper investigated the model more fully; following up 71 adolescents 2.2 to 3.7 years later. The main aims were to: (a) provide further validation of the ESC-SI Model through replication, (b) evaluate stability and change in key variables over time, (c) assess the causal hypothesis that emotion self-confidence appraisals would predict later suicidal ideation. Cross-sectional analysis replicated results obtained at baseline, supporting the model. Longitudinal analysis showed negative emotionality to be moderately stable, emotion self-confidence highly stable, and suicidal ideation highly variable, over time. Baseline emotion self-confidence did not explain unique variance in later suicidal ideation, failing to establish a causal relationship over this time frame. Links between emotion self-confidence and suicidal ideation were strongest during concurrent observations; a future focus on specific emotional experiences is recommended.






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