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Baer, Spitzen, Richmond, Tull, & Gratz. 2022

APA Citation

Baer, M.M., Spitzen, T. L., Richmond, J.R., Tull, M.T., & Gratz, K.L. (2022). Associations of interpersonal and intrapersonal emotion regulation strategies to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 24, 1-9.

Publication Topic
ACT: Empirical
CBS: Empirical
Publication Type
Interpersonal emotion regulation, Acceptance, Avoidance, Venting, Suicide ideation, Suicide attempt


Despite research and theory linking emotion regulation (ER) difficulties to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, limited research has examined the relations of specific ER strategies to suicide risk outcomes, and almost no research has examined interpersonal ER strategies in particular. Thus, this study sought to examine associations of specific interpersonal (venting, reassurance-seeking) and intrapersonal (avoidance, acceptance) ER strategies to suicidal ideation and suicide attempt history.


A community sample of adults (N = 363) completed an online study, including measures of perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, past 3-month suicidal ideation, lifetime suicide attempts, and a scenario-based measure assessing the use of both interpersonal (venting, reassurance-seeking) and intrapersonal (avoidance, acceptance) ER strategies.


When controlling for theoretically-relevant clinical and demographic covariates (and all other ER strategies), greater venting was uniquely associated with greater perceived burdensomeness. Greater avoidance was uniquely associated with greater thwarted belongingness, greater perceived burdensomeness, and a lifetime history of suicide attempts.


Results highlight the relevance of two specific ER strategies (venting and avoidance) that warrant further examination as potential treatment targets aimed at mitigating suicide risk. Limitations include examining only a subset of potential interpersonal and intrapersonal ER strategies, as well as the sole use of self-report measures.

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