Trait gratitude and suicidal ideation and behavior: An exploratory study

Karolina Krysinska, David Lester, Jennifer Lyke, Jozef Corveleyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite the progress of positive psychology, current knowledge regarding suicide protective factors is limited. Trait gratitude (a tendency to experience gratitude in daily life) may protect against suicidal ideation and behavior. Aims: The study tested a model of causal effects among gratitude, religiosity, reasons for living, coping, and social support as predictors of suicidal ideation, suicide threats, and suicide attempts after controlling for depression and stressful life events. Method: A sample of 165 college students were administered measures of gratitude, religiosity, reasons for living, social support, coping skills, stress, and depression. The study assessed lifetime and current suicidal ideation as well as lifetime suicide threat and attempt. Results: Both gratitude and religiosity, along with social support, coping skills, and reasons for living, correlated negatively with prior suicidal ideation, but not with prior attempted suicide. After controlling for risk factor (depression and stress), the impact of gratitude and religiosity was no longer statistically significant. Conclusion: Further research could help understand the role of positive emotions and human strengths, such as gratitude, in preventing and alleviating suicidal ideation and behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-296
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gratitude
  • Nonfatal suicidal behavior
  • Protective factors
  • Suicidal ideation

Cite this