Suicide Probability Scale (SPS)
- General information
- Structure and administration
- Sample norms, reliability, and validity
Author(s)/developer(s): Cull, J.G., & Gill, W.S.
Date(s) of publication: 1982
Primary: Suicide, self-harm
Secondary: None identified
Risk of suicide.
To assess the risk of suicide in adolescents and adults.
Use(s) of information:
This measure may be used to assess risk of suicide in adolescents and adults.
Adolescents and adults ages 14 and up.
English, French (Canadian), Swedish, and Turkish.
Additional information to inform measure useOther considerations:
For languages other than English, please see 'Key References'
Ontario-based programs or initiatives using this measure:
None at this time.
Structure and administration
Method(s) of administration:
Adolescent or adult.
Number of items:
Hopelessness (12 items), Suicide Ideation (8 items), Negative Self-Evaluation (9 items), and Hostility (7 items).
4-point Likert scale from 1 (none or a little of the time) to 4 (most or all of the time).
Estimated time to administer:
Information not indicated / not available at this time
Training requirements, scoring and interpretation:
Scoring and interpretation can be done manually or using the computer. Test reports can also be obtained via fax scoring service for a fee (please call 1-800-468-8857 for more details). Score is obtained by summing item scores. Scoring and interpretation requires training and experience in psychological measurement (usually a graduate degree in psychology or a closely related field).
Sample norms, reliability, and validity
The norms, reliability and validity statistics included in each measure profile are those reported by the author(s) of the measure. It is important to note that altering, adding or removing questions from a measure voids these reported statistics, possibly making the revised tool unreliable and invalid.
Sample for development of norms:
Measure was developed on three samples: 336 suicide attempters, 260 non-attempter psychiatric patients, and 562 normal controls.
The authors report internal consistency reliabilities (alphas) of 0.58-0.93, and a test-retest reliability of 0.94. Further studies have reported alphas of 0.32-0.93, and test-retest reliabilities of 0.57-0.95 (please see Key References for more details).
The authors report evidence of discriminative validity and extensive convergent validity. Further studies have reported evidence of discriminative validity, good specificity, low to moderate sensitivity, and exemplary convergent validity. Evidence of predictive validity (in this case, ability to predict those who would go on to attempt or commit suicide) has been mixed (please see Key References for more details).
Cost to use
No copy available from the Centre. Contact author or publisher
SPS kit (including 25 test forms, 25 profile forms, and the manual): $112.50.
SPS Test forms (pack of 25) or SPS profile forms (Pad of 100): $50.00 each.
SPS manual: $62.50.
All prices are in U.S. dollars and are accurate as of 2015.
Contact Information / Ordering Information:
Western Psychological Services
625 Alaska Ave.
Phone: 1-800-648-8857 or 1-424-201-8800
Cull, J.G., & Gill, W.S. (1988). Suicide Probablility Scale (SPS) Manual. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.
Eltz, M., Evans, A.S., Celio, M., Dyl, J., Hunt, J., Armstrong, L., & Spirito, A. (2007). Suicide Probability Scale and its utility with adolescent psychiatric patients. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 38(1), 17-29.
Eskin, M. (1993a). Swedish translations of the Suicide Probability Scale, Perceived Social Support from Friends and Family Scales, and the Scale for Interpersonal Behavior: A reliability analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 34(3), 276-281.
Eskin, M. (1993b). Reliability of the Turkish version of the Perceived Social Support from Friends and Family Scales, Scale for Interpersonal Behavior, and Suicide Probability Scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 49(4), 515-522.
Golding, S.L. (1985). Review of Suicide Probability Scale. In J.V. Mitchell (Ed.), 9th Mental Measurements Yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements.
Labelle, R., Daigle, M.S., Pronovost, J., & Marcotte, D. (2010). Étude psychométrique d'une version française du Suicide Probability Scale auprès de trois populations distinctes. Psychologie et Psychométrie, 19(1), 5-26.
Larzelere, R.E., Smith, G.L., Batenhorst, L.M., & Kelly, D. B. (1996). Predictive validity of the Suicide Probability Scale among adolescents in group home treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(2), 166-172.
Naud, H., & Daigle, M. (2010). Predictive validity of the Suicide Probability Scale in a male inmate population. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 32(3), 333-342.
Status: Verified and completed
Last updated: 2015-08-26