Posttraumatic Mental Contamination and the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide: Effects via DSM-5 PTSD Symptom Clusters
AbstractResearch has yet to establish a relationship between posttraumatic mental contamination and suicide risk, despite theoretical overlap. The present study examined relationships between posttraumatic mental contamination and suicide risk via posttraumatic stress symptom clusters and appraisals of perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Trauma-exposed participants (N = 183) completed measures of posttraumatic mental contamination, posttraumatic stress symptoms, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicide risk. Findings revealed significant indirect effects of posttraumatic mental contamination on suicide risk via all posttraumatic stress s ymptom clusters. Significant serial indirect effects of posttraumatic mental contamination on suicide risk were observed via posttraumatic avoidance and arousal/reactivity and, subsequently, via thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness. Serial models via posttraumatic re-experiencing and negative cognitions/mood symptoms were nonsignificant. Results suggest that posttraumatic mental contamination may increase suicide risk via posttraumatic stress symptom severity, and maladaptive interpersonal appraisals may explain these links through distinct symptom pathways. Implications for pos ttraumatic suicide risk are discussed.