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Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 259–271 | Cite as

Posttraumatic Mental Contamination and the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide: Effects via DSM-5 PTSD Symptom Clusters

  • C. Alex BrakeEmail author
  • Thomas G. Adams
  • Caitlyn O. Hood
  • Christal L. Badour
Original Article

Abstract

Research has yet to establish a relationship between posttraumatic mental contamination and suicide risk, despite theoretical overlap. The present study examined relationships between posttraumatic mental contamination and suicide risk via posttraumatic stress symptom clusters and appraisals of perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Trauma-exposed participants (N = 183) completed measures of posttraumatic mental contamination, posttraumatic stress symptoms, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicide risk. Findings revealed significant indirect effects of posttraumatic mental contamination on suicide risk via all posttraumatic stress symptom clusters. Significant serial indirect effects of posttraumatic mental contamination on suicide risk were observed via posttraumatic avoidance and arousal/reactivity and, subsequently, via thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness. Serial models via posttraumatic re-experiencing and negative cognitions/mood symptoms were nonsignificant. Results suggest that posttraumatic mental contamination may increase suicide risk via posttraumatic stress symptom severity, and maladaptive interpersonal appraisals may explain these links through distinct symptom pathways. Implications for posttraumatic suicide risk are discussed.

Keywords

Mental contamination PTSD Suicide Perceived burdensomeness Thwarted belongingness Appraisals 

Notes

Funding

Dr. Adams receives support from Grant Numbers K23 MH111977 and L30 MH111037 through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as an International Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF) research award. Dr. Badour receives support from Grant Number K12 DA14040 through the Office of Women’s Health Research and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at NIH. Caitlyn Hood also receives support from T32 DA035200 through NIDA at NIH. This publication’s contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIH or IOCDF.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

C. Alex Brake, Thomas G. Adams, Caitlyn O. Hood, and Christal L. Badour declare they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the present study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by any of the authors for this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Alex Brake
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas G. Adams
    • 2
    • 3
  • Caitlyn O. Hood
    • 1
  • Christal L. Badour
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Clinical Neuroscience Division of the VA National Center for PTSDWest HavenUSA

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