The Psychological State of Family Members Who Have Experienced Various Forms of Suicide of a Loved One (Single Attempt, Chronic Suicide, Completed Suicide)



The suicidal behavior of a member of a family influences the emotional well-being of his/her relatives. This paper presents the results of a pilot study of emotional well-being, coping strategies and characteristics of the family system among relatives of persons with suicidal behavior. The study involved 40 people, the total sample was divided into three subgroups: relatives of patients who survived the first suicide attempt (n = 16); relatives of patients after multiple suicide attempts (n = 10); relatives of persons who committed suicide (n = 14). In the first part of the study, the symptoms of emotional distress were analyzed for the entire sample. Relatives of people with different forms of suicidal behavior are at risk of depression: two-thirds of the combined sample showed increased symptoms of depression. The coping strategies of positive redefinition and personal growth are negatively correlated with symptoms of depression. In the second part of the study, we analyzed differences between subgroups. The severity of the symptoms of depression is significantly higher in the subgroup of relatives of people with completed suicide compared to relatives of those who survived a single suicide attempt, the indicators of hardiness and cohesion of the family system are lower in the families of people with multiple suicide attempts compared to other forms of suicidal behavior.

General Information

Keywords: suicide, family members, suicide survivors, suicide attempt, suicidal behavior, chronically suicidal patient

Journal rubric: Philosophy, Anthropology, Culture

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Borisonik E.V., Kholmogorova A.B. The Psychological State of Family Members Who Have Experienced Various Forms of Suicide of a Loved One (Single Attempt, Chronic Suicide, Completed Suicide). Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2018. Vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 56–75. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2018260105. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Evgeniya V. Borisonik, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE), Medical Psychologist, Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Care, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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