The value of forgetting suicidal thoughts and behavior

Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, Martin A. Safer, Donna Ronsaville, Ruth Tinsley, Susan J. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This is a prospective longitudinal study examining recollections of suicidal content and correlates of accurate and inaccurate recollection. A primarily at-risk group of young adults (N = 78) who were initially assessed for suicidal ideation and behavior in adolescence, were asked to recall whether they had reported suicidal ideation or behavior about six years earlier. In recalling the previous interview, the majority of the participants provided consistent reports. However, with regard to those who had previously reported suicidal ideation or behavior, 38% failed to recall prior adolescent suicidal reports. Those who provided accurate reports of prior suicidal content were more symptomatic and were functioning more poorly than those who failed to recall past suicidal content. The implications for clinical assessment practices, research, and theory development are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


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