Cognitive, emotive, and cognitive-behavioral correlates of suicidal ideation among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong

Sylvia Y C L Kwok, Tan Lei Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Utilizing Daniel Goleman's theory of emotional competence, Beck's cognitive theory, and Rudd's cognitive-behavioral theory of suicidality, the relationships between hopelessness (cognitive component), social problem solving (cognitive-behavioral component), emotional competence (emotive component), and adolescent suicidal ideation were examined. Based on the responses of 5,557 Secondary 1 to Secondary 4 students from 42 secondary schools in Hong Kong, results showed that suicidal ideation was positively related to adolescent hopelessness, but negatively related to emotional competence and social problem solving. While standard regression analyses showed that all the above variables were significant predictors of suicidal ideation, hierarchical regression analyses showed that hopelessness was the most important predictor of suicidal ideation, followed by social problem solving and emotional competence. Further regression analyses found that all four subscales of emotional competence, i.e., empathy, social skills, self-management of emotions, and utilization of emotions, were important predictors of male adolescent suicidal ideation. However, the subscale of social skills was not a significant predictor of female adolescent suicidal ideation. Standard regression analysis also revealed that all three subscales of social problem solving, i.e., negative problem orientation, rational problem solving, and impulsiveness/carelessness style, were important predictors of suicidal ideation. Theoretical and practice implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-379
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2010


  • Chinese adolescents
  • Emotional competence
  • Hopelessness
  • Social problem solving
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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