Dynamic Changes in a Desire to Escape from Interpersonal Adversity: A Fluid Experimental Assessment of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide
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.
KeywordsInterpersonal theory of suicide Belongingness Perceived burdensomeness Experimental psychopathology
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.
No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
All procedures were approved and conducted in accordance with the University of Western Australia Human Research Ethics Committee’s ethical guidelines.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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