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Impulsivity as a predictive factor of adolescent suicidal behavior


Previous cross-sectional studies have associated adolescent impulsivity with a higher risk of suicide attempts but have not compared adolescent suicidal behavior at hospitalization with behavior at later time points. Since a portion of these adolescents reattempt suicide, understanding which risk factors predict a history of multiple attempts is critical for treatment. This study aimed to investigate the predictive value of impulsivity in adolescent suicidal behavior. Behavioral impulsivity and suicidal behavior was assessed in 93 adolescents over a six-month period through interview (Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale), self-report (UPPS-P) and neuropsychological task-based (CANTAB, Stop-Signal) measures. No significant baseline predictors of suicide attempts at six-month followups were found, but impulsive suicide attempters (n=20) had a significantly lower (t[40] = 2.189, p = 0.035) rate of inhibition than non-impulsive suicide attempters (n=22) as measured by the Stop-Signal Task. Limitations include a small and homogeneous sample. In conclusion, results support an association between behavioral impulsivity and impulsive suicide attempts and confirm the need for future studies on baseline risk factors that may predict long-term suicidal behavior.


Gerlus, Nimesha, "Impulsivity as a predictive factor of adolescent suicidal behavior" (2015). Summer Research Symposium. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.



  • Summer Research Symposium

    Each year, Brown University showcases the research of its undergraduates at the Summer Research Symposium. More than half of the student-researchers are UTRA recipients, while others receive funding from a variety of Brown-administered and national programs and fellowships and go …