Impulsivity facets and perceived likelihood of future suicide attempt among patients who recently attempted suicide

Ashley B. Cole, Andrew K. Littlefield, Jami M. Gauthier, Courtney L. Bagge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Given the substantial heterogeneity of both impulsivity and suicidality, increased specificity in studying relations between these variables is needed. One aspect of suicidality that may be especially important for predicting future risk among those with a recent suicide attempt is self-perceived likelihood of making a future attempt (suicide likelihood). Presently, little is known about the extent to which impulsivity is related to this important aspect of suicidality. We examined whether three distinct impulsivity facets (i.e., deficits in conscientiousness, negative urgency, and sensation seeking) would differentially predict suicide likelihood. Methods: Participants included 155 psychiatric inpatients who presented to a Level-1 trauma hospital after a recent suicide attempt. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), in which demographic and clinical covariates were controlled, was conducted to examine whether each impulsivity facet would uniquely predict suicide likelihood. Results: Deficits in conscientiousness was the only robust predictor of suicide likelihood, with an association that persisted after accounting for demographic and clinical covariates. Limitations: The cross-sectional design and unknown predictive validity of suicide likelihood are study limitations. Conclusion: This was a preliminary investigation of impulsivity facets with suicide likelihood. Clinical implications of this study suggest that deficits in conscientiousness and suicide likelihood may be important factors to consider when identifying and intervening with patients at high-risk for suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Deficits in conscientiousness
  • Impulsivity
  • Psychiatric inpatients
  • Suicide likelihood


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