Autistic traits and self‑harm in adolescents: A study on interpersonal psychological theory of suicide
Aral, a., Usta, M.B., & Aral, A.E.
Background The purpose of the study was to investigate whether autistic traits predicted the presence and recurrence of self-harm and to determine any relationship mediated by the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS), which composed of the social infuence of negative life experiences on suicide, is referred to as "acquired capability", while proximal social risk factors are referred to as "thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness." Results We evaluated any interaction with the Autistic Quotient (AQ) score and self-harm whether it was explained by the thwarted belonging/perceived burdensomeness in the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ), victimization in the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire (OBVQ), and maltreatment in the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Communication and social skill as autistic traits predicted the presence of self-harm, yet the association vanished after including thwarted belonging and perceived burdensomeness, which are independent predictors of the presence of self-harm. Social skill and the sum score of autistic traits predicted the recurrence of self-harm, and the prediction was mediated largely by thwarted belonging and much less by perceived burdensomeness. Conclusions The unique interaction of autistic traits and IPTS increases the risk of self-harm. Within autistic traits, social skills, in particular, are likely associated to attempts at self-harm through acquired capability. The results of this research were identified as attention to loneliness and social support may be helpful in reducing self-harm in adolescents with autistic traits.