Experiential avoidance, cognitive fusion, and suicide ideation among psychiatric inpatients: The role of thwarted interpersonal needs

Jared F. Roush, Sarah L. Brown, Sean M. Mitchell, Kelly C. Cukrowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The interpersonal theory of suicide posits the simultaneous presence of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness (i.e., thwarted interpersonal needs) leads to active suicide ideation. According to the psychological flexibility model, psychological inflexibility is in part a product of cognitive fusion (i.e., becoming entangled or wrapped up in one’s thoughts) and experiential avoidance (i.e., avoidance of internal private experiences, which include thoughts and feelings). We hypothesized that thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, in parallel, would mediate the positive relation between experiential avoidance and suicide ideation and between cognitive fusion and suicide ideation. Method: Participants were 118 adult psychiatric inpatients who completed self-report assessments of thwarted interpersonal needs, cognitive fusion, experiential avoidance, and suicide ideation. Results: Using bootstrapped parallel mediation regression procedures, results indicated thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness mediated, in parallel, the positive relation between experiential avoidance and suicide ideation and between cognitive fusion and suicide ideation. Additionally, thwarted belongingness, but not perceived burdensomeness, independently mediated the relation between cognitive fusion and suicide ideation. Conclusion: The current findings indicate that psychological inflexibility variables are associated with increased thwarted interpersonal needs and suicide ideation. The findings of this study provide support for the integration of the interpersonal theory of suicide and psychological flexibility model to improve our conceptualization of suicide risk among psychiatric inpatients. Clinical or methodological significance summary: The findings of this study provide support for the integration of the interpersonal theory of suicide and psychological flexibility model to improve our conceptualization of suicide risk among psychiatric inpatients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

Keywords

  • perceived burdensomeness
  • suicide
  • thwarted belongingness

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