Suicide-specific rumination relates to lifetime suicide attempts above and beyond a variety of other suicide risk factors
Rogers, M.L. & Joiner, T.E.
Suicide-specific rumination, defined as a mental fixation on one’s suicidal thoughts, intentions, and plans, may be an important predictor of suicidal behavior. To date, suicide-specific rumination has demonstrated convergence with, yet distinction from, a variety of suicide risk factors, and differentiated suicide attempters from ideators. However, no research has examined whether suicide-specific rumination is associated with lifetime suicide attempts above and beyond the presence of a host of other relevant suicide risk factors. The present study tested this hypothesis in samples of students (N = 300) and community members recruited via Amazon’s MTurk (N = 209) who reported a lifetime history of suicidal ideation. Results indicated that suicide-specific rumination was associated with the presence of a lifetime suicide attempt, above and beyond a variety of other commonly-cited risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors in both samples, including suicidal ideation, general rumination, interpersonal theory variables, emotion-relevant factors (dysregulation, experiential avoidance, distress tolerance, negative affect), symptoms of depression and anxiety, and overarousal. Overall, though limited by the use of non-clinical samples and a cross-sectional study design, that suicide-specific rumination outperformed all other suicide risk factors in predicting the presence of a lifetime suicide attempt suggests the potential potency of this relatively understudied risk factor in understanding transitions to suicidal behavior.