Frequency and Methods of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury in Relation to Acquired Capability for Suicide Among Adolescents

Jacquelyn Matney, Nicholas J. Westers, Sarah E. Horton, Jessica D. King, Michael Eaddy, Graham J. Emslie, Betsy D. Kennard, Sunita M. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The objective of this study was to test the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS) proposal that the association of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) with suicide attempt is mediated by acquired capability. Inpatient adolescents (n = 134) reported on suicide ideation and attempts, NSSI frequency and methods, depressive symptoms, and acquired capability for suicide. Consistent with the IPTS, both measures of NSSI were positively associated with acquired capability after accounting for depressive symptoms and past history of attempts. However, both NSSI measures explained independent variance in number of suicide attempts after controlling for suicide ideation and acquired capability. These findings contradict the IPTS and suggest that the role of NSSI in suicide attempt is mediated by variables external to the IPTS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 21 2017



  • acquired capability
  • adolescents
  • interpersonal psychological theory of suicide
  • nonsuicidal self-injury
  • self-harm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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