Can positive emotion influence problem-solving attitudes among suicidal adults?

Thomas E. Joiner, Jeremy W. Pettit, Marisol Perez, Andrea B. Burns, Tulin Gencoz, Faruk Gencoz, M. David Rudd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


A client's mood can hinder or enhance treatment and its effectiveness. Positive emotions can encourage exploration and experimentation, and they may have the long-term effect of resource building. The purpose of the present study was to assess this perspective as applied to the treatment of suicidal individuals. The authors found that patients prone to positive moods, as compared with those less prone to such moods, displayed more positive problem-solving attitudes following treatment for suicidal symptoms, and, partly as a function thereof, displayed enhanced treatment response. These findings suggest that clinicians may improve their chances of achieving successful treatment outcomes if they present skill-building treatments during windows of positive mood for the client, rather than in times of crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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