»Progress in mental health requires combining etiological and treatment research. «

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Margraf

Mechanisms of mental disorders across the life span


The aim of the research conducted in our suicide lab is to apply theoretical models to enhance our understanding of suicidality as well as to develop, evaluate and disseminate psychotherapeutic suicide prevention programs.


Predictors of suicide ideation and suicide attempts: an evaluation of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (PRESS)

Principal Investigator and Team

PD Dr. Tobias Teismann
Prof. Dr. Thomas Forkmann
Prof. Dr. Heide Glaesmer
Prof. Dr. Georg Juckel


German Research Foundation (DFG): TE 747/4-1


Oktober 2016 – September 2019


The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (ITS) is one of the most intensively researched contemporary theories on the development of suicidal ideation and behavior. However, there is a lack of carefully conducted prospective studies. The project aimed to evaluate the main predictions of the ITS regarding the importance of perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and capability for suicide in predicting future suicide attempts in a prospective design. In  total N=308 psychiatric inpatients admitted due to severe suicidal ideation or a suicide attempt completed self-report measures as well as interviews on suicide intent and suicide attempts and were followed up for 12 months. The interaction of PB, TB and CS was not predictive for future suicide attempts. The results challenge the theoretical validity of the ITS and its clinical utility – at least within the methodological limitations of the current study.