The Association Between Anhedonia, Suicide Ideation, and Suicide Attempts: A Replication in a Persian Student Sample

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Abstract

Research suggests that anhedonia, a common symptom of depression, may be uniquely associated with suicidal behavior. However, little research has examined this association across cultures. To address this limitation, this study attempted to replicate a recent anhedonia and suicide study (conducted in a western culture) in a Persian sample using the Specific Loss of Interest and Pleasure Scale, Persian version. Participants consisted of 404 students who were recruited from a Persian university. Surprisingly, our results indicated that anhedonia levels were more than double those found in similar American student sample. Despite this marked difference in anhedonia symptoms, we found that anhedonia was associated with suicide risk, even when it was statistically accounting for other depressive symptoms. These findings suggest that anhedonia is a robust predictor of suicide risk across these two cultures. Further, anhedonia may be a particularly important treatment target among Persian students.

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