Background: The affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of impulsivity involved in suicide-related outcomes can be investigated through the UPPS model, which conceptualizes these facets in multidimensional terms related to negative and positive urgency, lack of premeditation and perseverance, and sensation seeking. This systematic review and meta-analysis provided a comprehensive understanding of the role of all facets of impulsivity in the development of suicidal ideation and behaviors.
Methods: We conducted a systematic search on six databases (PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science) until May 5,2023. Overall, 49 studies met the criteria for systematic review, of which 37 were included in a meta-analysis of data from 17.898 individuals. Additional moderation analyses included age, gender, sample status, country of study conduct, assessment instruments, type of suicide-related outcome, study quality, and research design.
Results: We found significant relationships between aspects of impulsivity and suicide-related outcomes. Specially, affective facets related to impulsivity showed a stronger association with suicidal ideations and attempts than cognitive and behavioral dimensions, recommending the main involvement of emotional aspects-positive and negative-in suicide-related dimensions.
Limitations: The limited number of studies may have negatively impacted the power of moderation analyses. In addition, for most dimensions of impulsivity, the limited number of longitudinal studies did not allow to test the moderating role of research design.
Conclusions: This study supports the role of impulsivity in suicidal ideation and behavior, identifying the affective component of impulsivity as the most involved, providing a significant contribution from a clinical and diagnostic point of view.