The Role of Anxiety Sensitivity Cognitive Concern In Suicidal Ideation: A Test of the Depression-Distress Amplification Model in Clinical Outpatients

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Suicide constitutes a significant public health burden as global suicide rates continue to increase. Thus, it is crucial to identify malleablesuicide risk factors to develop prevention protocols. Anxiety sensitivity, or a fear of anxiety-related sensations, is a potential malleable risk factor for the development of suicidal ideation. The Depression-Distress Amplification Model (DDAM) posits that the anxiety sensitivity cognitive concerns (ASCC) subfactor interacts with depressive symptoms to amplify the effects of depression and lead to suicidal ideation. The current study tested the DDAM across the two most widely-replicated factors of depressive symptoms (cognitive and affective/somatic) in comparison to a risk factor mediation model where ASCC are related to suicidal ideation via depressive symptoms. Participants included 295 clinical outpatients from a community clinic. The interaction between ASCC and depressive symptoms in the prediction of suicidal ideation was not significant for either cognitive or affective/somatic symptoms of depression. However, results revealed a significant indirect effect of ASCC through cognitive symptoms of depression in the prediction of suicidal ideation. These cross sectional findings are not consistent with the DDAM. Rather, the relationship may be better conceptualized with a model in which ASCC is related to suicidal ideation via cognitive symptoms of depression.

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Psychiatry Research



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