Relationships between components of emotional intelligence and suicidal behavior in alcohol-dependent patients

Maciej Kopera; Andrzej Jakubczyk; Anna Klimkiewicz; Hubert Suszek; Aleksandra Krasowska; Kirk J. Brower; Marcin Wojnar

alcohol dependence, emotional intelligence, mood regulation, suicide attempts

The importance of investigating various emotional skills in assessment of suicide risk in alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals has recently become the focus of increasing interest. The objective of this study was to explore the relationships between self-reported components of emotional intelligence and lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts in a clinical sample of AD subjects.


A group of 80 inpatients entering an alcohol treatment program in Warsaw, Poland, was recruited. Baseline information about demographics, psychopathological symptoms, personality, and severity of alcohol problems was obtained. The Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test was utilized for assessment of emotional processing. Lifetime history of suicide attempts was obtained from the MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview.


After accounting for affect-related suicide risk factors (severity of depression, anxiety, neuroticism), and also other significant predictors (eg, age, sex, history of childhood abuse), mood regulation/optimism deficits remained a significant correlate of lifetime suicide attempts in AD patients. In the mediation models, mood regulation appeared to fully mediate the relationship between history of suicide attempts and depression, and also neuroticism.


The results of this study support the evidence that poor mood regulation might be related to the risk for suicidal behavior in AD individuals. These findings point towards the significance of addressing the issue of emotion-related skills in the therapy of those AD subjects who are at risk for suicide.