Impulsivity, Substance Abuse, and Family/Friends History of Suicide Attempts in University Students with and without suicidal ideation


Majid Ghaffari 1 , * , Ahmad Ahmadi 2 , Mohammad Reza Abedi 2 , Maryam Fatehizade 2 , Iran Baghban 2

1 Clinical Psychologist, PhD Student of Family Counseling, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of counseling, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

How to Cite: Ghaffari M, Ahmadi A, Abedi M R, Fatehizade M, Baghban I. Impulsivity, Substance Abuse, and Family/Friends History of Suicide Attempts in University Students with and without suicidal ideation, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2011 ; 5(2):99-105.


Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 5 (2); 99-105
Published Online: December 31, 2011
Article Type: Original Article
Received: June 17, 2010
Revised: March 30, 2011
Accepted: June 27, 2011


Objective: Impulsivity appears to play an important role in suicidal behavior. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare the impulsivity, substance abuse, and family/friends history of suicide attempt between suicide-ideated and non suicide-ideated university students.

Methods: The research population consisted of all the students of the University of Isfahan in the academic year of 2009-2010. Three hundred and forty students (136 boys and 204 girls) were selected randomly through cluster sampling, of whom 53 participants were suicide-ideated and the rest were non suicide-ideated. The instruments used in this study were the 11P thP version of Barratt Impulsivity Scale, Suicide Ideation Questionnaire, and the demographic questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis of variance were used to examine hypothesis.

Results: There was a significant difference between suicide ideated and non-suicide ideated subjects in impulsivity (F=3.83, p< 0.001). Accordingly, significant differences were observed between two groups in attentional (F=8.12, p< 0.005), motor (F=7.67, p< 0.006), and non-planning (F=4.60, p< 0.033) impulsiveness. The results showed a higher incidence of substance abuse, and family/friends suicide attempt among suicideideated compared with non suicide-ideated students.

Conclusion: A higher level of impulsivity is probably related to various indices of suicidal behavior. Substance abuse is probably associated with suicidal behavior and this association may involve an interaction with impulsivity. This study provides an initial evidence of familial linkages of suicide ideation and suggests that the loss of an important person in life would be an important predictor of suicide ideation in university students.

Declaration of Interest: None.

Clinical Trial Registration: URL: 1T identifier: IRCT201104251457N8

Citation: Ghaffari M, Ahmadi A, Abedi MR, FatehizadeM, Baghban I. Impulsivity, substance abuse, and family/friends history of suicide attempts in university students with and without suicidal ideation. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci 2011; 5(2): 99-105,


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