Test Review of the Suicide Probability Scale
Cull, J., & Gill, W. (1982). Suicide Probability Scale. Retrieved from Mental Measurements Yearbook Database. (AN091293130).
Reviewer: Stephen L. Golding, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois-Urbana, Urbana, IL.
Constructs and Dimension
The Suicide Probability Scale (SPS) is a brief (5-10 minutes), multidimensional test designed to measure behaviors and self-reported attitudes to assess the suicide risk in adolescents and adult populations (Cull & Gill, 1982, as cited in Golding). The SPS has five scores: four subscales and one total weighted score. The four subscales include: Hopelessness (HP, 12 items), Suicide Ideation (SI, 8 items), Negative Self-Evaluation (NSE, 9 items), and Hostility (HS, 7 items). These final 36 items were pared down on a theoretical-empirical basis from over 200 items from what the authors believed were the four most important indicators of suicide: anomie (Durkheim), introjected rage (Freud), lethality, perturbation, and inimicality (Shneidman), and impulsivity general clinical observations (Golding). No additional references or resources were provided beyond theorist names and concepts.
The sample populations used for the purposes of this test were suicide attempters (N = 336), and two control groups consisting of non-attempter psychiatric inpatients (N = 260), and normals (N = 562) for a total population sample of 1,158 (Golding). This test can be administered in a group or individual setting to individuals’ ages 14 and over.
The total scale (.93), HP (.85) and SI (.88) subscales show reasonable internal consistency. HS (.78) and NSE (.58) subscales, conversely, show significantly lower reliability. Golding reports “test-retest reliability is reported for the total scale (10 days, r = .94, N = 478) but not for subscales or for clinical subpopulations.” There is no data reported about the sensitivity...