Emotion Dysregulation and the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide in Adolescents




Eaddy, Michael E.

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The lack of progress in suicide prevention has been attributed to fractured investigations of disparate risk factors and inadequate theoretical frameworks. Adolescents are different from adults in ways that are likely to influence suicide ideation and acts. The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS) is a promising theory that proposes three "final common pathways", perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and acquired capability, as the most proximal risk factors to suicidal ideation and attempts. There is a growing body of literature that demonstrates that many known risk factors for suicidality are associated with these three IPTS variables, and that the IPTS variables account for the relationship between these known risk factors and suicidality. The current pair of studies was guided by two areas of interest in the current literature. First, emotional dysregulation has been consistently linked to suicide attempts, and appears to have a complex relationship with IPTS constructs in adults, but has been under-investigated in clinical adolescents when it may have particular relevance to suicidality. Second, little is known about the IPTS variables in relation to response to treatment, and whether individual characteristics interact with IPTS variables to promote or hinder changes in suicidality. This work is an examination of the relationship between emotion dysregulation and suicidality within the IPTS framework in a clinical sample of adolescents. The questions it will address are a) whether emotion dysregulation accounts for variance in suicidality independently of IPTS variables, and b) whether emotion dysregulation influences response to treatment for suicide ideation, and if so, whether this influence occurs in the context of the IPTS framework. This work will be structured as follows: An initial introductory context relevant to both studies will be provided. The measures used are the same in both studies and will be described next. These shared components will be followed by the study-specific components: abstract, introduction, aims of the study, study-specific methods, results and discussion. There is significant overlap in the references for each study and these will be condensed at the end.

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