Rejection sensitivity and suicide ideation among psychiatric inpatients: An integration of two theoretical models

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rejection is a direct threat to an individual's need to belong that has serious consequences for mental health. Rejection sensitivity may explain why some individuals are more likely to perceive rejection in social situations and experience subsequent psychological distress. The current study examined suicide ideation among psychiatric inpatients (N = 103) through the lenses of the rejection sensitivity model and the interpersonal theory of suicide. We hypothesized that rejection sensitivity would be indirectly associated with suicide ideation (i.e., a cognitive-affective reaction to social rejection) through greater perceptions of rejection (i.e., thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, constructs from the interpersonal theory of suicide), in parallel. Results from bootstrapped parallel mediation regression procedures indicated that the relation between rejection sensitivity and suicide ideation was significantly indirectly associated through the additive effect of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, such that greater rejection sensitivity was associated with greater thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness and subsequently greater suicide ideation. Further, rejection sensitivity was significantly indirectly associated with suicide ideation independently through thwarted belongingness, but not perceived burdensomeness. These findings provide support for the rejection sensitivity model and the interpersonal theory of suicide in an effort to advance our conceptualization of suicide risk among psychiatric inpatients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume272
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Interpersonal theory
  • Perceived burdensomeness
  • Rejection sensitivity model
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Thwarted belongingness

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