Construct validity of a proposed new diagnostic entity: Acute Suicidal Affective Disturbance
Tucker, R.P., Michaels, M.S., Rogers, M.L., Wingate, L.R., & Joiner, T.E.
The current study presents initial support for the construct validity of Acute Suicidal Affective Disturbance (ASAD), a clinical entity consisting of acute suicide risk and several related features.
Participants (N=195) were university students who were recruited for a history of suicide attempt(s), history of suicidal ideation, or no history of suicide attempts or suicidal ideation. Participants completed study measures online.
Factor analytic results indicated a one factor solution for a lifetime measure of ASAD symptoms. The measure demonstrated strong convergent and divergent validity with common correlates of suicide-related outcomes and incremental predictive validity, as lifetime occurrence of ASAD symptoms predicted number of past suicide attempts above and beyond a host of suicide risk factors. Lifetime ASAD symptoms differed between those with multiple suicide attempts, those with a single attempt, and participants without a history of attempts, as well as between participants with a history of both suicidal ideation and attempts and those with a history of suicidal ideation but not suicide attempts.
The cross-sectional research design limits the ability to infer causation between ASAD symptoms and suicidal behavior. Only past ASAD symptoms (not current symptoms) were measured.
ASAD appears to be a unified clinical entity that characterizes acute suicide risk which may assist clinicians in determining a client’s potential for death by suicide.