This research was supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grant 5 K23 AA00318-02 and National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH-60285.
Predisposing and Precipitating Factors for Suicide Among Alcoholics: Empirical Review and Conceptual Integration
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 28, Issue Supplement s1, pages 6S–17S, May 2004
How to Cite
Conner, K. R. and Duberstein, P. R. (2004), Predisposing and Precipitating Factors for Suicide Among Alcoholics: Empirical Review and Conceptual Integration. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 28: 6S–17S. doi: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000127410.84505.2A
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Received for publication January 22, 2004; accepted February 4, 2004.
Abstract: Alcohol dependence is a potent risk factor for suicide. Accordingly, alcoholics should be targeted in suicide prevention efforts. This article reviews the literature on suicide among alcoholics and provides a model that may inform research, clinical work, and prevention efforts. In this model, we propose that aggression/impulsivity, severe alcoholism, negative affect, and hopelessness are key predisposing factors for suicide among alcoholics. We propose that major depressive episodes and stressful life events, particularly interpersonal difficulties, are key precipitating factors. We also integrate these constructs in a model that proposes that many acts of suicide among alcoholics may be viewed as acts of reactive aggression executed in the midst of distress over a lost or threatened relationship. Empirical evidence for the model is discussed along with its limitations. The next generation of research on alcoholism and suicide should include a focus on the interpersonal anlage of suicide in this population.