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Intolerance to Delayed Reward in Girls with Multiple Suicide Attempts

Authors

  • Charles W. Mathias PhD,

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • Donald M. Dougherty PhD,

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • Lisa M. James PhD,

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • Dawn M. Richard PhD,

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • Michael A. Dawes MD,

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • Ashley Acheson PhD,

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak PhD

    1. Charles W. Mathias, Donald M. Dougherty, Lisa M. James, Dawn M. Richard, Michael A. Dawes, Ashley Acheson, Nathalie Hill-Kapturczak, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX.
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  • This project was funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH065566 and R01-MH077684). Dr. Dougherty gratefully acknowledges support from the William & Marguerite Wurzbach Distinguished Professorship and the University of Texas Star Program.

  • We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Kristen Prevette in collection of data from which this manuscript was prepared.

Address correspondence to Donald M. Dougherty, Division of Neurobehavioral Research, Psychiatry Department, MC 7793, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA; E-mail: doughertyd@uthscsa.edu

Abstract

Impulsivity has been conceptualized as influencing the expression of suicidal behavior. Adolescence is a developmental period characterized both by a relatively high rate of suicide attempts and a high level of impulsivity. The current study examined two behavioral measures (delay reward and disinhibition) and one self-report measure of impulsivity among girls with suicide attempt histories. Girls with multiple suicide attempts performed more impulsively on measures of delayed reward, and had higher self-ratings of depression and aggression than girls with either one or no suicide attempts. The multiple attempter girls’ preference for immediate gratification may directly increase vulnerability to suicidal acts in the context of distressing states or indirectly increase risk by creating poor life experience over time.

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