The present study examines the role of optimism and gratitude as predictors of suicide risk, namely depressive symptoms and suicide ideation. Beyond their expected predictive role, optimism and gratitude were also hypothesized to interact together to predict both suicide risk outcomes.
A sample of 1,013 Spanish adults (521 females) participated in this study. The average age was 39.63 years old (standard deviation = 16.19; range 16–82).
Results indicated that the optimism × gratitude interaction term significantly augmented the prediction of both depressive symptoms and suicide ideation. Specifically, pessimists presented with a higher risk of suicide, but the effect was weaker among those individuals with higher levels of gratitude. Alternatively, optimists with high gratitude showed the highest amount of protection from suicide risk.
Our findings are the first to show how optimism and gratitude might interact as a positive psychological variable to confer greater personal resources in protecting individuals against suicide risk.