Author(s): Anestis MD, Joiner TE
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Abstract Joiner's (2005) interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior posits that an individual must exhibit elevations on three variables--perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and the acquired capability for suicide--in order to enact lethal self-harm. Thus far, however, no research has examined the role of emotion in this process or whether the interaction of these three variables is more problematic for certain populations than for others. We sought to address these voids by examining the role of negative urgency as an amplifier of the relationship between the components of the theory and lifetime number of suicide attempts. Results indicated that the four-way interaction of negative urgency and the three components of the theory predicted lifetime number of suicide attempts, controlling for depression symptoms and sex. Additionally, the three-way interaction of the theory components significantly predicted lifetime number of suicide attempts in the full sample. Furthermore, for individuals with negative urgency scores at or above the median, the three-way interaction of the theory components significantly predicted lifetime number of suicide attempts whereas, for individuals with negative urgency scores below the median, the interaction was non-significant. These findings indicate that, although elevations on the three components of the theory may be dangerous for anyone, this is particularly true for individuals exhibiting high levels of negative urgency, as they might be more likely to quickly develop suicidal ideation and resort to painful self-harming behaviors while experiencing negative affective states. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Affect Disord
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy