Self-regulation of unattainable goals in suicide attempters: the relationship between goal disengagement, goal reengagement and suicidal ideation.
AffiliationSuicidal Behaviour Research Group, Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK. email@example.com
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CitationSelf-regulation of unattainable goals in suicide attempters: the relationship between goal disengagement, goal reengagement and suicidal ideation. 2009, 47 (2):164-9 Behav Res Ther
JournalBehaviour research and therapy
AbstractThere is growing interest in models of adaptive self-regulation. Recent research suggests that goal disengagement and goal reengagement (i.e., goal adjustment) are implicated in the self-regulation of emotion. This study extends the self-regulation research to investigate the utility of goal adjustment in understanding suicidal risk. To this end, two hundred adults hospitalised following a suicidal episode completed a range of clinical and psychological measures in hospital and were followed up approximately 2.5 months after discharge (Time 2). Hierarchical regression analyses showed that goal reengagement predicted suicidal ideation at Time 2. In addition, the lack of goal reengagement was especially pernicious when reported concomitantly with high disengagement. These predictive effects were independent of baseline mood, attempt status and suicidal intent. The theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.