Screening for atypical suicide risk with person fit statistics among people presenting to alcohol and other drug treatment

Kendon J. Conrad*, Nikolaus Bezruczko, Ya Fen Chan, Barth Riley, Guy Diamond, Michael L. Dennis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Symptoms of internalizing disorders (depression, anxiety, somatic, trauma) are the major risk factors for suicide. Atypical suicide risk is characterized by people with few or no symptoms of internalizing disorders. Objective: In persons screened at intake to alcohol or other drug (AOD) treatment, this research examined whether person fit statistics would support an atypical subtype at high risk for suicide that did not present with typical depression and other internalizing disorders. Methods: Symptom profiles of the prototypical, typical, and atypical persons, as defined using fit statistics, were tested on 7408 persons entering AOD treatment using the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN; Dennis et al., 2003a,b). Results: Of those with suicide symptoms, the findings were as expected with the atypical group being higher on suicide and lower on symptoms of internalizing disorders. In addition, the atypical group was similar or lower on substance problems, symptoms of externalizing disorders, and crime and violence. Conclusions: Person fit statistics were useful in identifying persons with atypical suicide profiles and in enlightening aspects of existing theory concerning atypical suicidal ideation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Atypical suicide
  • Diagnostic profile
  • GAIN
  • Rasch person fit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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