Category: Suicide and Self-Injury

PS4- #B33 - Anxiety Sensitivity Subfactors Differentially Predict Interpersonal Suicide Risk

Friday, Nov 17
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Anxiety Sensitivity | Suicide | Risk / Vulnerability Factors

Anxiety sensitivity (AS), or a “fear of fear”, has been identified as a risk factor for a number of psychological disorders and has also been associated with suicide risk. Recent work has sought to refine our understanding of the relationship between AS and suicidality by looking at how the three AS subfactors (cognitive, social, and physical) relate to suicidal ideation and past suicide attempt history; however, few studies have explored these associations within the context of the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS; Joiner, 2005). The current study examined the relationship between the three IPTS domains (perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and acquired capability), overall AS, and each of the three AS subfactors. Participants (N = 308) were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online survey platform through which individuals can remotely complete questionnaires. When controlling for depressive and anxiety symptoms, gender, and age, greater overall AS predicted lower acquired capability (β = -.33, t(207) = -3.63, p < .001) but was not a significant predictor of either perceived burdensomeness (β = .11, t(207) = 1.57, p = .12) or thwarted belongingness (β = .13, t(207) = 1.80, p = .07). On the other hand, each AS subfactor was uniquely associated with one of the three IPTS domains: greater cognitive AS uniquely predicted greater perceived burdensomeness (β = .15, t(205) = 2.06, p = .04), increased social AS uniquely predicted greater thwarted belongingness (β = .22, t(205) = 3.25, p = .001), and lower physical AS uniquely predicted increased acquired capability for suicide (β = -.34, t(205) = -3.64, p < .001). Our results suggest that the three AS subfactors, rather than overall AS, provide us with more nuanced information about an individual’s interpersonal suicide risk. This knowledge could be used to better tailor interventions, such that they specifically target the type of AS associated with a given suicide risk factor.

Stephanie E. Hudiburgh

University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida

Ashley M. Shaw

Graduate Student
University of Miami; Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Hollywood, Florida

Kimberly A. Arditte Hall

Advanced Research Fellow in Women's Mental Health
National Center for PTSD/VA Boston Healthcare System; Boston University School of Medicine

Kiara R. Timpano

Assistant Professor
University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida