The Structure of Suicidal Beliefs: A Bifactor Analysis of the Suicide Cognitions Scale
The Suicide Cognitions Scale (SCS) was developed to measure a broad spectrum of suicidogenic cognitions collectively referred to as the suicidal belief system. Prior confirmatory factor analyses have suggested both a unidimensional and multidimensional structure and high intercorrelations among identified factors, suggesting the possible influence of an underlying general factor. The present study used bifactor analysis in a clinical sample of 97 treatment-seeking Army personnel with recent suicide ideation and a nonclinical sample of 193 military personnel and veterans with a lifetime history of suicide ideation or attempts. Results supported the strong influence of a general factor in addition to several specific factors that aligned with constructs articulated by several theories of suicide, and suggested the SCS is best interpreted as a unidimensional measure. Results suggest that narrower suicidogenic cognitions are influenced in large part by a strong general latent variable.
KeywordsSuicide Suicidal belief system Suicide Cognitions Scale Military Assessment
This study was supported in part by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs through the Defense Medical Research and Development Program under Award No. W81XWH-14-1-0272 (PI: Bryan) and the Military Suicide Research Consortium (MSRC), an effort supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs under Award No. W81XWH-10-2-0181 (PI: Bryan). Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, or the MSRC.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Bryan reports grant funding from the Department of Defense and Bob Woodruff Foundation, and consultation salary from Neurostat Analytical Solutions. Ms. Harris reports no financial conflicts of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
- Beck, A. T., & Steer, R. A. (1988). BHS, Beck hopelessness scale: Manual. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Beck, A. T., & Steer, R. A. (1991). BSS: Beck scale for suicide ideation. San Antonio: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
- Bryan, C. J., Mintz, J., Clemans, T. A., Leeson, B., Burch, T. S., Williams, S. R., … Rudd, M. D. (2017). Effect of crisis response planning vs. contracts for safety on suicide risk in US Army soldiers: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Affective Disorders, 212, 64–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Bryan, C. J., & Rudd, M. D. (2018). Brief cognitive behavioral therapy for suicide prevention. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Bryan, C. J., Rudd, M. D., Wertenberger, E., Etienne, N., Ray-Sannerud, B. N., Morrow, C. E., … Young-McCaughon, S. (2014). Improving the detection and prediction of suicidal behavior among military personnel by measuring suicidal beliefs: An evaluation of the Suicide Cognitions Scale. Journal of Affective Disorders, 159, 15–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Gupta, R. P., & Pandey, R. (2015). Validation of the factor structure of Suicide Cognitions Scale. Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 135–139.Google Scholar
- Hammer, J. H., & Toland, M. D. (2016). Bifactor analysis in Mplus [Video file]. Retrieved from http://sites.education.uky.edu/apslab/upcoming-events/.
- Jobes, D. A. (2016). Managing suicidal risk: A collaborative approach. New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
- Kovacs, M., & Garrison, B. (1985). Hopelessness and eventual suicide: A 10-year prospective study of patients hospitalized with suicidal ideation. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1, 559–563.Google Scholar
- Linehan, M. M. (1993). Cognitive behavioral therapy of borderline personality disorder. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthen, B. O. (1998–2015). Mplus User’s Guide. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
- Rudd, M. D., Joiner, T. E., & Rajab, M. H. (2004). Treating suicidal behavior: An effective, time-limited approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Shneidman, E. S. (1993). Suicide as psychache: A clinical approach to self-destructive behavior. Lanham: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar