Motives for suicide attempts. The views of the patients.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study was designed to investigate the motives patients give for attempting suicide and the associations between these motives and diagnosis, various psychiatric features, suicidal intent and socio-demographic characteristics. The Motives for Parasuicide Questionnaire (MPQ), comprising 14 suggested motives, was presented to 53 patients at a psychiatric ward that specialized in suicide attempters. Escape motives were very common, whereas interpersonal motives were rare. Patients with substance abuse, anxiety, or personality disorders more often chose communicating motives and mentioned higher numbers of motives than those with mood or adjustment disorders. Hopelessness was positively associated with a stated wish to die and with escape motives, and negatively correlated to communicating/unclear motives. Suicidal intent was related to some motives. The psychiatric disorder or mental state seems to be more important than socio-demographic characteristics for the choice of motives. Further studies are required to investigate the associations between psychiatric features and motives, as well as the clinical usefulness of such assessments.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry


  • Hopelessness, Motives, Psychiatric Disorder, Suicidal Intent, Suicide Attempt
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-206
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch