Construct development: The Suicide Trigger Scale (STS-2), a measure of a hypothesized suicide trigger state

Yaseen, Zimri; Katz, Curren; Johnson, Matthew S.; Eisenberg, Daniel; Cohen, Lisa J.; Galynker, Igor I.
January 2010
BMC Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 10, p110
Academic Journal
Background: This study aims to develop the construct of a 'suicide trigger state' by exploring data gathered with a novel psychometric self-report instrument, the STS-2. Methods: The STS-2, was administered to 141 adult psychiatric patients with suicidal ideation. Multiple statistical methods were used to explore construct validity and structure. Results: Cronbach's alpha (0.949) demonstrated excellent internal consistency. Factor analyses yielded two-component solutions with good agreement. The first component described near-psychotic somatization and ruminative flooding, while the second described frantic hopelessness. ROC analysis determined an optimal cut score for a history of suicide attempt, with significance of p < 0.03. Logistic regression analysis found items sensitive to history of suicide attempt described ruminative flooding, doom, hopelessness, entrapment and dread. Conclusions: The STS-2 appears to measure a distinct and novel clinical entity, which we speculatively term the 'suicide trigger state.' High scores on the STS-2 associate with reported history of past suicide attempt.


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