Objectives: The current study investigated whether hope and its two components (agency and pathways) acted as protective factors by weakening the relations between perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and acquired capability for suicide and suicide risk among older adults.
Methods: A community sample of 594 older Australians aged from 60 to 95 years (M age = 68.72, SD age = 6.67) completed the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised, Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire-Revised, Acquired Capability for Suicide Scale-Fearlessness about Death Scale, Adult Hope Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale-short form.
Results: After controlling for depressive symptoms and sociodemographic variables, hope and agency moderated the thwarted belongingness-suicide risk relation, and hope, agency, and pathways moderated the acquired capability for suicide-risk relation.
Conclusions: Hope may play an important role in reducing suicide risk among older adults experiencing thwarted belongingness and who have acquired the capability for suicide. Research is required to identify ways of reducing suicide risk among older adults who experience perceived burdensomeness. Clinical Implications: Increasing hope may reduce suicide risk among older adults experiencing thwarted belongingness and who have acquired the capability for suicide.