Background: The interpersonal theory of suicide has gained empirical support as a conceptualization of suicide risk; however, little research has examined the role of individual traits, such as trait hope, within the interpersonal theory of suicide. Aims: The purpose of this study was to further investigate the role of trait hope components (i.e., pathways and agency) in acquired capability for suicide. Method: Participants were 711 college students who completed measures of acquired capability for suicide, painful and provocative events, and trait hope (i.e., pathways and agency). Linear regression was used to test the hypotheses. Results: As hypothesized, there was a positive relation between pathways and acquired capability. Contrary to our hypotheses, after controlling for gender there was a significant relation between agency and acquired capability. In addition, after controlling for gender, pathways did not moderate the relation between painful and provocative events and acquired capability, whereas agency did moderate this relation. Conclusion: Painful and provocative events should be assessed as a risk factor for acquired capability for suicide, and this may be more salient for individuals higher in the agency component of trait hope. Future research should consider examining the role of other traits within the interpersonal theory of suicide.
- Acquired capability
- Interpersonal theory of suicide
- Painful and provocative events