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date: 24 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Cognitive and information processing variables have the potential to account for the mechanisms that lead up to and operate during a suicidal crisis. This chapter evaluates the empirical research on suicide-relevant cognitive content variables (i.e., hopelessness, perfectionism, burdensomeness, low belongingness, unbearability) and information processing variables (i.e., problem-solving deficits, overgeneral memory, future thinking, attentional biases, implicit associations). It is concluded that many of these variables interact with one another during suicidal crises and can serve as both distal and proximal risk factors for suicidal behavior. In addition, five contemporary cognitive models of suicidal behavior are presented, and the manner in which they might operate at different stages in the onset of suicidal crises is considered.

Keywords: cognition, information processing, distortions, biases, hopelessness

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