Recent research has suggested that constructs in the field of positive psychology may be important for understanding suicide risk. Specifically both hope theory and dispositional optimism have been linked to lower levels of suicidal ideation and interpersonal suicide risk. Despite these encouraging findings no study has investigated the relationships between hope optimism and suicide risk in a clinical sample. The current study aimed to address this gap and to determine if hope or optimism was more important for understanding suicide risk as operationalized by the interpersonal-psychological theory and suicidal ideation. Results of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that both hope and optimism predicted lower levels of burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness but were not significant predictors of suicidal ideation. Further results revealed that when both hope and optimism were entered into a hierarchical regression in the final step only optimism remained significant. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
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