Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Thirty-five people admitted to hospital following deliberate self-harm by overdose were interviewed. Patients rated several 'reasons' for making the attempt on 0-10-point scales. The 'reasons' used were those derived by Bancroft and his associates (e.g. find out if someone loved me, make people understand how desperate I was feeling). The patients also completed Beck et al.'s Hopelessness Scale. High hopelessness was associated with an increased wish 'to die' and 'to get relief from a terrible state of mind' but high and low hopelessness did not differentiate between other reasons, even the traditionally 'manipulative' ones. The intercorrelations between reasons suggested that in low hopelessness interpersonal reasons were the most central constructs, whereas in the high hopelessness patients, the escape motive was the most central.


Journal article


Br J Med Psychol

Publication Date



59 ( Pt 3)


269 - 277


Adolescent, Adult, Attitude to Death, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Poisoning, Psychological Tests, Suicide, Attempted