The Mediating Role of Perceived Burdensomeness in Relations Between Domains of Cognitive Functioning and Indicators of Suicide Risk

Danielle R. Jahn, Kelly C. Cukrowicz, Sean M. Mitchell, Erin K. Poindexter, Evan T. Guidry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Psychiatric inpatients are at elevated risk for suicide, but there are mixed findings regarding cognitive functioning (i.e., executive functioning and problem-solving abilities) and suicide risk in this population. We hypothesized that a mediating variable (i.e., perceived burdensomeness) may explain these mixed findings. Method: This hypothesis was tested in a sample of psychiatric inpatients admitted for suicide-related concerns (N = 110; 58.18% female, Mage = 36.45) using a nonparametric bootstrapping procedure. Results: Perceived burdensomeness did not act as a mediator between any domain of cognitive functioning and current suicide ideation nor presence of recent suicide attempts. However, perceived burdensomeness was the strongest predictor of suicide ideation and mediated the relation between objective problem-solving skill and suicide risk (a weighted variable comprising current ideation and previous attempts). Conclusions: Perceived burdensomeness may be associated with elevated suicide ideation, suggesting that perceived burdensomeness should be assessed to inform suicide risk decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-919
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume71
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Keywords

  • Executive functioning
  • Interpersonal theory of suicide
  • Mediation
  • Perceived burdensomeness
  • Problem solving
  • Psychiatric inpatients
  • Suicide attempts
  • Suicide ideation

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