Abstract The present study examined the relationship among psychiatric diagnosis, depression, attributional style, and hopelessness among 69 adolescent suicide attempters and 40 psychiatrically hospitalized adolescent controls. Contrary to predictions, the suicide attempters were more likely than the nonsuicidal group to attribute good events to global causes. No differences in attributional style were found across the depressed versus nondepressed subjects. However, there was a modest relationship between depression and attributional style. Results suggest that maladaptive cognitive characteristics are present in adolescent clinical samples but may be less specific to suicide attempters than is often suggested.