Year: 2016 Source: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.(2016).14(5):820–830. DOI: 10.1007/s11469-016-9642-x SIEC No: 20160486

Individuals experiencing chronic pain are at greater risk for suicidal behavior. The mechanism of action for this association is unexplored, but may involve the influence of pain on interpersonal functioning. We examined the mediating role of unsatisfied interpersonal needs on the relation between pain severity and interference, and suicidal behavior. Low income, uninsured participants completed self-report measures of pain severity and interference, thwarted interpersonal needs and suicidal behavior. Our hypotheses were partially supported; in simple mediation models, an indirect only effect existed for both thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness in the relation between pain severity and pain interference and suicidal behavior. These effects did not persist in multiple mediation analyses. Our findings suggest that, for patients experiencing pain, assessment and improvement of the quantity and quality of interpersonal relationships may reduce risk for suicide ideation and attempts.