Document Type

Poster Presentation


The present study examined relationships between scores on the Suicide Probability Scale (SPS; Cull & Gill, 1982) and scores on selected self-report measures of suicide and psychopathology. Participants included 128 boys and 117 girls, ages 14 - 1 7 years (M = 15 .6, SD = 0.98). In addition to the SPS, participants completed (a) the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire - Revised (SBQ-R; Osman et al., 2001) and the Reasons for Living Inventory for Adolescents (RFL-A; Osman et al., 1998) as suicide related measures, and (b) the Beck Depression Inventory - II (BDI-II; Beck et al., 1996), the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS; Beck et al., 1988), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI; Beck et al., 1990), and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory- Adolescents (MMPI-A; Butcher et al., 1992) as measures of psychopathology. Alpha estimates for the study measures were adequate (i.e., values > . 70). Pearson and partial correlational analyses were carried out in the separate gender subgroups. Evidence of convergent and discriminant validity were good. Results are interpreted in terms of the differential correlates of the SPS for the psychiatric inpatient boys and girls.

Suicide in adolescents has become an increasingly devastating tragedy. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among young people 15 to 24 years of age, following unintentional injuries and homicide (NIMH, 2000). In order to aid in the detection of the risk and prevention of youth suicide, the Suicide Probability Scale was created. The Suicide Probability Scale (SPS; Cull & Gill, 1982) is a measure of suicide risk in adolescents. The SPS contains 4 subscales and a total weighted score. The four subscales include Hopelessness (HP), Suicide Ideation (SI), Negative Self-Evaluation (NSE), and Hostility (HO) and were constructed using theoretical and empirical strategies. Established measures of both risk factors (hopelessness, anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior) and protective factors (reasons for living) were correlated with the SPS in order to validate its scores.

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Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference





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©2003 by the University of Northern Iowa



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University of Northern Iowa


Cedar Falls, IA