Critical Issues - Suicide in Correctional Settings

From: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 60, No. 6, 1992

Problem Solving and Suicidality Among Prison Inmates: Another Look at State Versus Trait

Andre Ivanoff
Sandra Grochowski
Kenneth E. Klein
Sung Joon Jang
Nancy J. Smyth

Abstract:

This research examines the relationships between means-ends problem solving and suicidality among adult male prison inmates in light of new evidence based on inpatient and college student populations suggesting that state, rather than trait, vulnerabilities may be responsible for problem-solving deficits and differences. Using the Means-End Problem-Solving Procedure (MEPS) with 93 state prison inmates, we found that among inmates with a history of parasuicide, current suicidality did not affect problem-solving performance. We further found that among nonsuicidal inmates, parasuicide history had on effect on problem solving or affect-suicidality measures. Although these results support new research suggesting that trait problem-solving deficits are not causally linked to suicidality, they raise questions about the potentially unique relationships among suicidality, problem solving, depression, and hopelessness in incarcerated populations.

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