Category: Suicide and Self-Injury

PS13- #A10 - Belongingness and Burdensomeness Among Individuals With No Suicidality, Suicidal Ideation Only, or a Recent Suicide Attempt

Saturday, Nov 18
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Suicide | Severe Mental Illness | Assessment

Thwarted belongingness (TB), the emotionally painful state that results from an unmet need to connect with others, and perceived burdensomeness (PB), the apperception that others would benefit from one’s absence, are thought to be proximal risk factors for suicide attempts (SAs; Joiner, 2005). Research has demonstrated an association between PB, TB, and suicidality (Joiner, Hom, Hagan, & Silva, 2016). To the authors’ knowledge, however, research has not examined TB and PB among individuals with a recent SA relative to individuals with only suicidal ideation (SI). Furthermore, recent work suggests that PB may play a greater role than TB in the transition from suicidal ideation to behavior (Joiner et al., 2016; Van Orden, Lynam, Hollar, & Joiner, 2006), but this theory has not been tested empirically. This study aimed to address these gaps in the literature. Given current theory (see Joiner et al., 2016), PB, but not TB, was hypothesized to differentiate individuals who recently attempted suicide from those with SI but no recent SAs. The study included a subsample of 211, predominantly White (93.4%, = 197) adult inpatients, ages 19-70 (= 40.06, SD = 13.32), from a larger study assessing suicide risk. Slightly more males (51.7%,= 109) than females (48.7%, = 102) were present in this subsample. The Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire-18 (INQ-18; Van Orden, Cukrowicz, Witte, & Joiner 2012) was used to record self-reported PB and TB ratings, and the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS; Posner et al., 2008) was used to assess suicidality. Based on C-SSRS data, subjects were assigned into one of three groups: Control (i.e. no SI in the past month and no lifetime history of SAs), SI (i.e. SI in the past month but no SA three weeks prior to week of admission) and SA (i.e. SA in the week prior to admission).  Given the non-normal distribution of data, Kruskal-Wallis tests were used. The first set of analyses found significant differences in TB scores between groups, Χ2(2) = 10.01, η= 0.05, = 0.01), but the SI group did not differ significantly from the SA group (= 1.00). The second set of analyses demonstrated significant differences in PB scores between groups, Χ2(2) = 19.84, η= 0.09, p < 0.05). Although the cross-sectional design of this study precludes conclusions about causality, results suggest that PB may play a greater role than TB in the transition from ideation to behavior and should be addressed therapeutically. Lastly, directions for future research, such as the use of EMA to assess TB and PB, are discussed. 

Roberto Lopez

Research Assistant
Butler Hospital
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Alyson Randall

Research Assistant
Butler Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island

Anna Rabasco

Research Assistant
Butler Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island

Kristen Sorgi

Research Assistant
Butler Hospital

Heather Schatten

Assistant Professor
Brown University & Butler Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island

Ivan Miller

Professor
Brown University & Butler Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island

Michael F. Armey

Assistant Professor
Brown University & Butler Hospital
Providence, Rhode Island