Childhood Abuse, the Interpersonal–Psychological Theory of Suicide, and the Mediating Role of Depression

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Abstract

Although childhood abuse is a well-known risk factor for suicide, no studies have investigated the role of interpersonal–psychological (Joiner, 2005), constructs in this association. This study examined whether childhood physical, sexual, and emotional abuse were associated with IPTS constructs, and whether depressive symptoms mediated these associations. Ninety-one participants completed self-report measures. Emotional abuse predicted perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness, and depressive symptoms mediated these associations. Physical abuse predicted the acquired capability for suicide, although depression did not mediate this association. These findings suggest that specific types of abuse differentially predict IPTS components and underscore depression as a potential mechanism.

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