How do distal and proximal risk factors combine to predict suicidal ideation and behaviors? A prospective study of the narrative crisis model of suicide

Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, Bernard Gorman, Lauren Lloveras, Timothy Wilkerson, Allison Schuck, Shira Barzilay, Raffaella Calati, David Schnur, Igor Galynker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: : The Narrative Crisis Model of suicide posits that when individuals with trait vulnerabilities for suicide face stressful life events, they may develop distorted perceptions of themselves and society that culminate in a sense of no future. Referred to as the suicide narrative, these perceptions makes them more likely to experience the Suicidal Crisis Syndrome, an acute affective condition that increases the risk of engaging in suicidal ideation behaviors. The goal of this study was to assess the stage components of this model. Methods: : The stage components of the NCM were assessed among adult psychiatric inpatients (N = 223; listwise N = 85) aged 18–65 years old and admitted for suicidal ideation or attempts. Suicidal outcomes were assessed at one month follow-up. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to assess the model and its prediction of prospective suicidal outcomes. Results: : The model was supported by the SEM and proved to be a good fit for the data. Each temporal stage was significantly predicted by the precedent stage in the model and 13% of the variance in suicidal ideation and behaviors (when assessed conjointly) were explained by the model. When suicidal ideation and attempts were assessed separately, the amount of variance explained was 10.8% for suicidal ideation and 40.7% for suicidal attempts. Discussion: : The progression from trait vulnerabilities to suicidal outcomes proposed by the NCM was supported by our findings. These findings have clinical implications in the assessment and treatment of suicide risk and will need replication with larger samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-926
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume277
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Funding

This study was supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) focus grant #RFA-1-015-14 (PI: Igor Galynker).

FundersFunder number
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-1-015-14

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