Background: To examine the relationship between anger, impulsivity and suicidality. Methods: Thirty psychiatric inpatients admitted for suicidal behavior were compared with 30 nonsuicidal psychiatric inpatients and 32 healthy controls on measures of anger, impulsivity and suicide risk. Results: The three groups were similar on demographic variables, but the suicidal group scored higher on the suicide risk scale, impulsivity scale and anger scale. Anger and impulsivity correlated significantly with suicide risk. High anger and impulsivity contributed synergistically to the suicide risk. Whereas anger was specific to both psychiatric groups, suicidals and nonsuicidals, only impulsivity was specific to the suicidal group. Conclusions: These findings may have important implications for therapists and primary prevention workers, and may pave the way for the recognition of risk factors and for effective intervention in patients with a high suicide risk.

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