Emotion Dysregulation and Vulnerability to Suicidal Ideation and Attempts
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This study investigated the predictive utility of a six-dimensional conceptualization of emotion dysregulation for suicidal ideation, as well as its ability to distinguish among individuals with differing histories of suicidality. Young adults (N = 96) with current suicidal ideation but no suicide attempt history (n = 17), a history of a single (n = 20) or multiple attempts (n = 17), or no current ideation/no past attempts (n = 42) completed measures of emotion dysregulation, suicidal ideation, depression, hopelessness, and a diagnostic interview. Multiple suicide attempters differed from participants with no suicidal ideation/no past attempts on two emotion dysregulation dimensions—nonacceptance of emotional responses and perceived limited access to emotion regulation strategies. After adjusting for depression symptoms and the presence of a mood or anxiety diagnosis, limited access to emotion regulation strategies significantly predicted current suicidal ideation, a relation that was found to be statistically mediated by hopelessness.
KeywordsEmotion regulation Suicide attempt Suicidal ideation Hopelessness
This study was funded, in part, by the Hunter College Gender Equity Project (NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award # 0123609), and by the CUNY Research Foundation. The authors would like to thank Monique Fontes, Valerie Khait, Shama Goklani, Judelysse Gomez, Brett Marroquín, and Kai Monde for their assistance with data collection. Thanks also to Tracy Dennis, Doug Mennin, Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, and J. Blake Turner for comments on a previous draft of this manuscript.
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