Year: 2021 Source: Behavior Therapy. (2021). Published online 2 March 2021. SIEC No: 20210457

Acquired capability for suicide is associated with increased suicide risk and behaviors, but little research has examined factors that may qualify this relationship. Body investment is proposed as one such factor, as it may engage self-preservation instincts and serve as a buffer to capability for suicide. It was expected that facets of body investment (body feelings, body care, comfort with touch, and body protection) would moderate the relationship between acquired capability for suicide and suicide attempts. The current study included a sample of 1,150 undergraduate students with a mean age of 19.74 (3.44). The majority of the sample identified as female (71%) and White/Caucasian (78%). Participants completed self-report measures of body investment (Body Investment Scale [BIS]), acquired capability (Acquired Capability for Suicide Scale [ACSS]), suicide thoughts and attempt history (Self-Harm Behavior Questionnaire [SHBQ]), and demographic information. Four moderation analyses were run using the PROCESS macro; one for each body investment subscale. All facets of body investment showed significant moderation except for body care. Acquired capability was significantly associated with suicide attempts when body feelings, comfort with touch, and body protection were low, but not when they were high. Results indicate that fostering aspects of body investment may be important for suicide prevention.