Psychiatry Investig.  2022 Jun;19(6):427-434. 10.30773/pi.2021.0361.

Effect of Attitude Toward Suicide on Suicidal Behavior: Based on the Korea National Suicide Survey

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea


Suicide is a complex phenomenon; therefore, it should be approached in light of sociocultural perspectives and the general attitude toward suicide. This study aimed to extract factors from the Attitude Toward Suicide Scale (ATTS) and investigate the relationship between attitudes toward suicide and suicidal behavior (i.e., suicidal idea, plan, and attempt) by using a representative sample of Korean adults.
Three thousand Koreans aged 19 to 75 years were surveyed cross-sectionally in 2013 and 2018. The data collected were subjected to exploratory factor analysis. Extracted attitude factors were compared using a suicidal behavior continuum. Univariate and multivariate logistic models were constructed to compare the association between attitude factors and suicidal behaviors.
Among the participants, 477 (15.9%) experienced suicidal idea only, 85 (2.8%) had a suicidal plan without attempt, and 58 (1.9%) attempted suicide. Four meaningful factors were extracted from the factor analysis: “permissiveness,” “unjustified behavior,” “preventability/readiness to help,” and “loneliness.” “Permissiveness,” “unjustified behavior,” and “loneliness” factors showed significant trends across the suicidal behavior continuum. Permissive attitude toward suicide increased the odds of suicidal idea, suicidal plan, and suicide attempt (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.49, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.25–1.79; aOR=2.79, 95% CI=1.84–4.25; aOR=2.67, 95% CI=1.65–4.33), while attitude toward suicide as unjustified behavior decreased the odds of suicidal ideation and attempt (aOR=0.79, 95% CI=0.67–0.94; aOR=0.64, 95% CI=0.42–0.99).
A significant association was found between attitude toward suicide and suicidal behaviors. Attitude toward suicide is a modifiable factor that can be used to develop prevention policies.


Suicidal ideation; Suicide; Attitude
Full Text Links
  • PI
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: