Impulsive choices and actions have been related to suicidal behavior and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The Stop-Signal Task is a well-known paradigm for measuring motor impulsivity. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the predictive utility of the Stop-Signal Paradigm for adolescent suicidality and ADHD to investigate this paradigm as a potential endophenotype for suicidal behavior. 166 adolescents (ages 12-18) were recruited from Bradley Hospital's adolescent inpatient unit; to date, 108 six month follow-up assessments have been completed. The Columbia-Suicide Severity Ratings Scale and the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia were used to assess baseline suicidality and ADHD; the self-report measure UPPS-P Behavior Scale was used in addition to the Stop-Signal Task to assess baseline impulsivity. The Stop-Signal Reaction Time (SSRT) was calculated and participant SSRTs were included as impulsivity measures based on established criteria from the literature. Positive (t=-2.34; p=0.02) and negative (t=-2.97; p=0.006) urgency subscales from the UPPS-P were predictive of suicide attempts at the 6 month assessment. Baseline SSRTs did not predict suicide attempts reported at the 6 month assessment, but did distinguish between teens with and without ADHD (t=-2.062, p=0.04), suggesting motor impulsivity may be more associated with ADHD than with suicidal behavior. Future directions include exploring other facets of impulsivity and associated characteristics such as risk-taking.
Gerlus, Nimesha, and Spirito, Anthony,
"The association between impulsivity, ADHD, and suicide attempts in adolescents"
Summer Research Symposium.
Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.
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 …