Substance use frequency relates to suicidal ideation through perceived burdensomeness and to suicide attempts through capability for suicide

Background Although substance use has been linked to both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, the factors underlying these relations remain unclear. The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (ITS) provides a framework for understanding how substance use may increase suicide risk. The purpose of the current study was to examine if frequency of substance use is indirectly […]

Hopelessness, interpersonal, and emotion dysregulation perspectives on suicidal ideation: Tests in a clinical sample

Objective The present study directly compared three perspectives of suicidality: Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS), Hopelessness Theory, and a perspective emphasizing emotion dysregulation. Method 219 adults seeking outpatient psychological services completed questionnaires during intake between November 2015 and February 2019. Patients were included if they completed surveys related to thwarted belongingness (TB), perceived burdensomeness (PB), […]

Comfort expressing emotions and suicide ideation: Evidence of indirect effects via perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness

Objective Emotion regulation strategies and related constructs have been implicated both as risk and protective factors in a range of mental health outcomes among young adults. To expand upon this previous research, we examined comfort expressing four discrete emotions (i.e., love, happiness, sadness, and anger) as factors that protect against suicide ideation in young adults, […]

Suicide attempts during adolescence: Testing the system dynamics of the interpersonal theory of suicide

Introduction Despite increased efforts to prevent suicide, attempts to die by suicide are rising amongst youth in the United States. Testing causal theories that depict suicide attempts from an adolescent development perspective could bolster prevention and intervention efforts. This study using system dynamics modeling to appraise whether a prevalent theory of suicide, the Interpersonal Theory […]

Suicidal desire in adolescents: An examination of the Interpersonal Psychological Theory using daily diaries

Despite decades of research, relatively little is known about short-term predictors of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Intensive longitudinal methods are increasingly applied to investigate near-term risk factors of suicidal thoughts in daily life. The aim of this study was to examine short-term predictors of daily-level suicidal thoughts in a high-risk adolescent sample using the interpersonal-psychological […]

Relationship of self-compassion, hope, and emotional control to perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and suicidal ideation

Background: Cultivating positive feelings of self in relationships with others can affect perceptions of belongingness and burdensomeness. Aims: The present study examines the relationships of self-compassion, hope, and emotional control to thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicidal ideation. Method: Participants were 481 college students who completed scales measuring self-compassion, hope, emotional control, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicidal ideation. Results: Correlation and […]

Integrating the interpersonal theory of suicide into the relations between cyber-victimization and suicidality among adolescents: A short-term prospective study

The relation between cyber-victimization and suicidality among adolescents has been well documented; however, the mechanisms underlying this association have not been well investigated. Drawing upon the interpersonal theory of suicide, this study aimed to examine the mediating mechanisms (i.e., thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness) underlying longitudinal, bidirectional relations between cyber-victimization and suicidal ideation/attempts among adolescents […]

Conceptualizing suicide prevention in firefighters through the lens of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of suicide: A narrative review

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and is a significant public health problem. Suicide has also become a major concern among career American firefighters with rates for suicidal ideation and attempts in firefighters two to three times higher than rates in the general population. Firefighter suicide and mental health […]

Suicide ideation and thwarted interpersonal needs among psychiatric inpatients: A network approach

We aimed to demonstrate the utility of an item-level network analysis approach to suicide risk by testing the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) among 402 psychiatric inpatients. We hypothesized that specific thwarted belongingness (TB) or perceived burdensomeness (PB; Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire items) facets would positively relate to passive or active suicide ideation and that […]

The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide and the role of psychological pain during the COVID-19 pandemic: A network analysis

Introduction Among the most investigated theories explaining suicidal behavior there are the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) by Thomas E. Joiner and the one focused on the construct of psychological pain (or psychache, or mental pain). Objective Since it remains unclear whether these two different theories correlate with each other in the explanation of suicidal risk, we […]

The moderating role of pessimism in the association between retrospective relational peer victimization, interpersonal risk factors, and suicide ideation

Peer victimization (PV) is a serious concern for youth and is associated with subsequent suicide ideation in young adulthood. The interpersonal theory of suicide may provide a framework for understanding suicide ideation in this population. Specifically, thwarted belongingness (TB) and perceived burdensomeness (PB) have been significantly associated with suicide ideation among young adults with a […]

Better off with you: Exploring congruity between caregivers’ and Veterans’ experience of efforts to cope with suicide

The interpersonal theory of suicide posits people are more likely to consider suicide when they perceive themselves as alone and as a burden. However, there is limited research on whether these self-perceptions reflect caregiver experiences. As part of a larger study of collaborative safety planning, 43 Veteran/caregiver dyads (N = 86 individuals) completed measures of belongingness and […]

Application of the inter-personal psychological theory of suicide in a non-clinical community-based adolescent population

Background The Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS) provides a theoretical model of suicide behavior that explains the emergence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. Limited research has tested the IPTS with adolescents. The aim of the current study is to test the full IPTS model in a non-clinical community-based sample of adolescents. Methods Data […]

Refinement of the role of hopelessness in the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide: An exploration in an inpatient adolescent sample

Hopelessness is a well-established risk factor for suicidal ideation. Recent research has indicated that hopelessness can be split into two subsets: pessimism (PESS) and lack of optimism (LOO) and that LOO is more salient of the two in predicting suicide ideation (SI). The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of PESS and […]

Is perceived burdensomeness present in the lives of famous suicides? A lack of support for the interpersonal theory of suicide

The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS) proposes that suicide is the result of three constructs: perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belonging, and the acquired capability for suicide. To explore the presence of these constructs in suicides, two raters read 72 summaries of biographies of famous suicide for the extent to which each construct was present. Only 11 […]

Examining the temporal stability of suicide capability among undergraduates: A latent growth analysis

Background: Relatively few studies test the interpersonal psychological theory’s monotonicity hypothesis. The monotonicity hypothesis proposes that suicide capability (i.e., fearlessness about death and pain tolerance) is stable or increases linearly with exposure to painful and provocative events. Research is conflicted, suggesting that suicide capability is static, decreases, or increases and returns to baseline. The current study […]

A test of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (thwarted belonging and burdensomeness) among firefighters in Tehran

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the interpersonal theory of suicide in firefighters in Tehran. This research was based on an interpersonal suicide theory in understanding whether two variables of thwarted belonging and burdensomeness play an important role in suicidal thoughts of firefighters or not. Method: The present study was a quantitative and correlational […]

Examining the role of stigma and disability-related factors in suicide risk through the lens of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

Research has largely not identified processes contributing to the relationship between physical disability and suicide risk. This cross-sectional research is aimed at examining the associations among felt stigma, perceived burdensomeness, disability severity, and perceptions about future suicidal ideation and attempts. Adults (N = 127) with physical disabilities recruited through online and printed advertisements completed self-report measures and […]

Suicide risk and restricted emotions in women: The diverging effects of masculine gender norms and suicide capability

This study investigated whether gender moderated the association between masculine socialization pressures of restrictive emotionality and suicide risk through suicide capability (i.e., fearlessness about death). A sample of inpatients admitted for recent suicidality (n = 194) completed validated measures of restrictive emotionality, fearlessness about death, and current suicide risk. A moderated mediation effect was found opposite […]

Pet attachment and the interpersonal theory of suicide

Objective: Pet ownership is often assumed to have mental health benefits, but the effect of pets on suicide risk has a scant literature. Method: Using the interpersonal theory of suicide, we examined the relationships between perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, overall attachment to one’s pet (quality of the relationship), pet attachment avoidance (distrustful of the relationship) […]

Modeling suicide risk among parents during the COVID-19 pandemic: Psychological inflexibility exacerbates the impact of COVID-19 stressors on interpersonal risk factors for suicide

Public health researchers have raised the concern that both the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the ensuing public health response will increase interpersonal stressors associated with suicide risk. The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) framework conceptualizes psychological flexibility as an important way to reduce the impact of painful and even catastrophic events on psychological […]

The interpersonal and psychological impacts of COVID-19 on risk for late-life suicide

Older adults experience increased risk for suicide compared to the general population, and the circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) may potentiate this risk. We discuss how current COVID-19 pandemic-related policies are likely to harm older adults disproportionately. COVID-19 pandemic social distancing policies and ethical guidelines for COVID-19 treatment may exacerbate experiences of social […]

What is capability for suicide? A review of the current evidence

It is well known that most people who think about suicide do not attempt or die by suicide. Capability for suicide, a construct proposed by Joiner (2005) within the interpersonal theory of suicide, was relatively novel in that it explained a potential mechanism by which individuals move from thinking about suicide to engaging in suicidal […]