Background: The use of latent class analysis (LCA) to understand suicide risk is often not guided by theoretical frameworks. This study used the Integrated Motivational-Volitional (IMV) Model of Suicidal Behaviour to inform the classification of subtypes of young adults with a suicidal history. Methods: Data from young adults in Scotland (n = 3508) were used in this study including a subgroup of participants (n = 845) with a history of suicidality. LCA using risk factors from the IMV model was conducted on this subgroup, and the subgroups and non-suicidal control group were compared. Trajectories of suicidal behaviour over 36 months was compared between the classes. Results: Three classes were identified. Class 1 (62 %) had low scores on all risk factors, Class 2 (23 %) had moderate scores, and Class 3 (14 %) had high scores on all risk factors. Those in Class 1 had a stable low risk of suicidal behaviour, while those in Class 2 and 3 showed marked variation over time, although Class 3 had the highest risk across all timepoints. Limitations: The rate of suicidal behaviour in the sample was low, and differential dropout may have impacted the findings. Conclusions: These findings suggest that young adults can be classified into different profiles based on suicide risk variables derived from the IMV model, which still distinguishes them 36 months later. Such profiling may help determining who is most at risk for suicidal behaviour over time.
- Integrated motivational-volitional (IMV) model
- Latent class analysis