Developmental Course of Impulsivity and Capability from Age 10 to Age 25 as Related to Trajectory of Suicide Attempt in a Community Cohort

Authors

  • Stephanie Kasen PhD,

    1. StephanieKasen,PatriciaCohen, Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; and HenianChen, Winthrop University Hospital, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
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  • Patricia Cohen PhD,

    1. StephanieKasen,PatriciaCohen, Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; and HenianChen, Winthrop University Hospital, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
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  • Henian Chen MD, PhD

    1. StephanieKasen,PatriciaCohen, Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; and HenianChen, Winthrop University Hospital, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
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  • This research was supported by a grant to Dr. Kasen by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Project 1007504 [2009–2010]). The data analyzed come from the Children in the Community (CIC) study, Principal Investigator, Dr. Cohen. The CIC study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health through grants R01 MH36971 (1983–1985), R01 MH38916 (1985–1988), R01 MH49191 (1992–1995), and R01 MH60911 (2000–2010), with supplemental grant support from the National Institute for Justice through grant IJCX0029 (1999–2001). Dr. Kasen had full access to all study data and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and accuracy of the data analysis. The authors report no competing interests.

Address correspondence to Dr. Stephanie Kasen, 100 Haven Avenue, Tower 3, Suite 31F, New York, NY 10032; E-mail: sk57@columbia.edu

Abstract

Hierarchical linear models were used to examine trajectories of impulsivity and capability between ages 10 and 25 in relation to suicide attempt in 770 youths followed longitudinally: intercepts were set at age 17. The impulsivity measure assessed features of urgency (e.g., poor control, quick provocation, and disregard for external constraints); the capability measure assessed aspects of self-esteem and mastery. Compared to nonattempters, attempters reported significantly higher impulsivity levels with less age-related decline, and significantly lower capability levels with less age-related increase. Independent of other risks, suicide attempt was related significantly to higher impulsivity between ages 10 and 25, especially during the younger years, and lower capability. Implications of those findings for further suicidal behavior and preventive/intervention efforts are discussed.

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