Date of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Joye Anestis

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Michael Anestis

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Nora Charles

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Ashley Batastini

Committee Member 4 School



Suicide represents one of the leading causes of mortality for adolescents. Externalizing behaviors, such as psychopathic and conduct disorder traits, represent risk factors for adolescent suicide. Investigation of suicide capability is especially important, as it is theorized to distinguish individuals who evince suicide ideation from those who progress to making a suicide attempt. Currently, associations between psychopathic and conduct disorder traits and capability in youth are understudied, as well as factors that may potentiate these associations, such as exposure to violence and gender. The aim of this study was to explore the interactive nature of psychopathic and conduct disorder traits, violence exposure, and gender as related to prediction of capability for suicide. Results indicate the moderation models were largely nonsignificant; however, findings reveal that psychopathic and conduct disorder traits confer risk for suicide capability, and suggest continued study in youth samples is warranted. Clinical implications, limitations, and future directions are examined.