Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2019). 40(6), 413–421. SIEC No: 20231502

Background: Acute suicidal affective disturbance (ASAD) has been proposed as a suicide-specific entity that confers risk for imminent suicidal behavior. Preliminary evidence suggests that ASAD is associated with suicidal behavior beyond a number of factors; however, no study to date has examined potential moderating variables. Aims: The present study tested the hypotheses that physical pain persistence would moderate the relationship between ASAD and (1) lifetime suicide attempts and (2) attempt lethality. Method: Students (N = 167) with a history of suicidality completed self-report measures assessing the lifetime worst-point ASAD episode and the presence of a lifetime suicide attempt, a clinical interview about attempt lethality, and a physical pain tolerance task. Results: Physical pain persistence was a significant moderator of the association between ASAD and lifetime suicide attempts (B = 0.00001, SE = 0.000004, p = .032), such that the relationship between ASAD and suicide attempts strengthened at increasing levels of pain persistence. The interaction between ASAD and pain persistence in relation to attempt lethality was nonsignificant (B = 0.000004, SE = 0.00001, p = .765). Limitations: This study included a cross-sectional/retrospective analysis of worst-point ASAD symptoms, current physical pain perception, and lifetime suicide attempts. Conclusion: ASAD may confer risk for suicidal behavior most strongly at higher levels of pain persistence, whereas ASAD and pain perception do not influence attempt lethality.