Background. Despite voluminous research on the role of hopelessness and depression in suicidality, a systematic examination of various causal models pertaining to these variables is conspicuous in its absence.
Method. The directions of relationships between the three variables were examined by means of a prospective-longitudinal, cross-lagged, three-wave design in a severely suicidal young adults.
Results. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analyses revealed synchronous, but not longitudinal, associations between hopelessness, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation.
Conclusions. In severely suicidal young adults, the three clinical constructs appear to constitute a single depressive syndrome.