Assessing suicide risk among callers to crisis hotlines: A confirmatory factor analysis


  • This research was supported in part by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to Tracy K. Witte and Thomas E. Joiner (1 F31 MH077386-01), a student fellowship from the Society of Public Health Education and the Centers for Disease Control to Tracy K. Witte, and a cooperative agreement from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U79M54128.


Our goal was to investigate the factor structure of a risk assessment tool utilized by suicide hotlines and to determine the predictive validity of the obtained factors in predicting subsequent suicidal behavior. We conducted an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), an EFA in a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (EFA/CFA) framework, and a CFA on independent subsamples derived from a total sample of 1,085. Similar to previous studies, we found consistent evidence for a two-factor solution, with one factor representing a more pernicious form of suicide risk (i.e., Resolved Plans and Preparations; RPP) and one factor representing milder suicidal ideation (i.e., Suicidal Desire and Ideation; SDI). The RPP factor trended toward being more predictive of suicidal ideation at follow-up than the SDI factor. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 66:1–24, 2010.