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Dynamic Changes in a Desire to Escape from Interpersonal Adversity: A Fluid Experimental Assessment of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

  • Michael J. KyronEmail author
  • Anna C. Badcock
  • Elliot Baker-Young
  • Werner G. K. Stritzke
  • Andrew C. Page
Original Article

Abstract

Given suicide risk is dynamic, research needs to identify the factors responsible for these changes. This can be achieved through experimentally manipulating putative causal risk factors. Two studies experimentally manipulated a change in interpersonal risk factors (thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness) to assess the influence on participants’ desire to escape. Study 1 (N = 74) found manipulating simultaneous changes in burdensomeness and belongingness rapidly changed participants’ desire to escape. In Study 2 (N = 54), a change in only thwarted belongingness was still effective in quickly changing participants’ desire to escape from the task, even in the presence of heightened feelings of burdensomeness. The findings speak to the causal role that changes in the levels of interpersonal risk factors may play in influencing a desire to escape from adverse life circumstances.

Keywords

Interpersonal theory of suicide Belongingness Perceived burdensomeness Experimental psychopathology 

Notes

Funding

This research was supported in part by an ARC Linkage Grant (LP 150100503) and an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Michael J. Kyron, Anna C. Badcock, Elliot Baker-Young, Werner G. K. Stritzke, and Andrew C. Page declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Animal Rights

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

Ethical Approval

All procedures were approved and conducted in accordance with the University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee’s ethical guidelines.

Informed Consent

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

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Kyron
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anna C. Badcock
    • 1
  • Elliot Baker-Young
    • 1
  • Werner G. K. Stritzke
    • 1
  • Andrew C. Page
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Psychological ScienceUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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