DOI: 10.1002/jclp.23664 ISSN: 0021-9762

Determining the MMPI‐3 SUI scale's cross‐sectional and prospective utility in suicide risk assessment

Cole S. Morris, Megan A. Keen, Chloe White, Paul B. Ingram, Sean M. Mitchell, Sarah E. Victor
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology



In‐depth suicide risk assessments are particularly important to long‐term suicide prevention. Broadband measures of psychopathology, such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) instruments, assess suicide risk factors and various mental health comorbidities. With the recent release of the MMPI‐3, the Suicidal/Death Ideation (SUI) scale underwent revisions to improve its construct validity and detection of suicide risk factors. Thus, we hypothesized the MMPI‐3 SUI scale would demonstrate medium to large associations with suicidal experience and behaviors, future ideation, and interpersonal risk factors of suicide.


A sample of 124 college students screened for elevated depressive symptoms completed a brief longitudinal study. Participants completed a baseline session including the MMPI‐3 and criterion measures and three brief follow‐ups every 2 weeks.


SUI scores were most robustly associated with increased risk for past suicidal ideation, planning, and perceived burdensomeness. Prospectively assessed suicidal ideation was also meaningfully associated with SUI. SUI scale elevations indicate an increased risk of suicide‐related risk factors.


The MMPI‐3 is a valuable tool to inform long‐term suicide prevention for those experiencing elevated depressive symptoms as the SUI scale can assess past, current, and future suicide‐related risk factors, including suicidal ideation and behaviors.

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