The Moderating Effects of Impulsivity on Chinese Rural Young Suicide


  • The research was supported by the United States National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): R01 MH068560. The U.S. NIMH funded this project but had no role in study design, data collection, data analyses, data interpretation, or the writing of the article.



As only about 50% of Chinese suicides have mental disorders, nonpsychiatric factors such as social environment and personality may account for the variance that is not explained by mental problems. We try to explore the effects of impulsivity on Chinese suicides and the role impulsivity plays in the relationship between negative life events (NLEs) and suicidal behavior.


A total of 392 suicide cases (178 female and 214 male, aged 15–34 years) and 416 community controls (202 males and 214 females) of the same age range were sampled in China. The case-control data were obtained using psychological autopsy method with structured and semistructured instruments.


Impulsivity was an important predictor of Chinese rural young suicides and it was a moderator between NLEs and suicide.


Findings of the study may be translated into practical measures in suicide prevention in China as well as elsewhere in the world.