Year: 2023 Source: Personality and Individual Differences. (2023). 214, 1-6. DOI: SIEC No: 20231724

Introduction: College years represent a period that is commonly marked by emotion dysregulation and related risky behaviors, including suicide. Despite evidence that the dysregulation of positive emotions plays a unique role in suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), most extant research has only examined emotion dysregulation and STBs in the context of negative emotions. Clarifying the relationship between positive emotion dampening, a form of positive emotion dysregulation, and suicide risk among college students may inform assessment and treatment efforts.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 184 undergraduate students (Mage = 18.74, 61.5 % female) at a large state university. Participants completed a clinical diagnostic interview and a self-report measure of positive emotion dampening.

Results: The results indicated that engaging in positive emotion dampening was significantly associated with current suicide risk (OR = 1.21, Z = 3.11, p = 0.002). Moreover, positive emotion dampening was significantly predictive of suicide risk severity (OR = 1.15, Z = 3.09, p = 0.002).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that positive emotion dampening does play a role in suicide risk and severity among college students. The ways in which college-aged individuals experience positive emotions may have important implications for assessment and treatment of STBs.