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01-10-2013 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2013

Cognitive Therapy and Research 5/2013

The Joint Influence of Disordered Eating and Anxiety Sensitivity on the Acquired Capability for Suicide

Cognitive Therapy and Research > Uitgave 5/2013
Erin Fink, Lindsay Bodell, April Smith, Thomas Joiner


Anxiety sensitivity (AS) and disordered eating are significant risk factors for suicidality. Although the physical concerns subfactor of AS—specifically lower physical concerns—has been associated with suicide attempts, we sought to further clarify this relationship by exploring the association between AS physical concerns and the physical capability component (acquired capability) of Joiner’s (Why people die by suicide. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2005) interpersonal theory of suicide. We predicted an inverse relationship between AS physical concerns and the acquired capability for suicide in a sample of 342 female outpatients. Additionally, we hypothesized that AS physical concerns would moderate the relationship between disordered eating—another risk factor for suicidality—and acquired capability, such that a significant relationship between disordered eating and acquired capability would exist only for those reporting low AS physical concerns. Both hypotheses were supported. The implications for understanding the joint influence of AS and disordered eating, as well as for determining suicide risk, are discussed.

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