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Is camouflaging autistic traits associated with defeat, entrapment, and lifetime suicidal thoughts? Expanding the Integrated Motivational Volitional Model of Suicide

Lookup NU author(s): Mirabel Pelton, Professor Jacqueline Rodgers



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 The Authors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Association of Suicidology.Introduction: The current study explored whether camouflaging autistic traits is associated with defeat and entrapment and lifetime suicidal thoughts, as predicted by the Integrated Volitional Model of Suicide (IMV model). Methods: 180 UK undergraduate students (76.7% female 18–67 years) completed a cross-sectional online survey from February 5 to March 23, 2020, including self-report measures of defeat and entrapment (SDES), autistic traits (AQ-10), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), camouflaging autistic traits (CAT-Q), and lifetime suicidal thoughts and behaviors (SBQ-R item 1). Results: After controlling for age, gender, current depression, and anxiety symptoms, autistic traits accounted for significantly more of the variance in defeat and entrapment (1.1%), and camouflaging accounted for a further 3.2% of the variance. The association between autistic traits and lifetime suicidality was significantly mediated by camouflaging, defeat, and entrapment. After controlling for age, gender, current depression, and anxiety symptoms, defeat and entrapment (but not camouflaging) accounted for significantly more variance in lifetime suicidal thoughts. The interaction between camouflaging, defeat and entrapment predicted significantly less variance in lifetime suicidal thoughts than either variable alone. Conclusion: Results suggest that camouflaging autistic traits is a transdiagnostic risk factor for lifetime suicidality, relevant to the defeat and entrapment constructs of the IMV model.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cassidy S, McLaughlin E, McGranaghan R, Pelton M, O'Connor R, Rodgers J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

Year: 2023

Volume: 53

Issue: 4

Pages: 572-585

Print publication date: 01/08/2024

Online publication date: 02/05/2023

Acceptance date: 18/04/2023

Date deposited: 23/05/2023

ISSN (print): 0363-0234

ISSN (electronic): 1943-278X

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12965


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