Laboratory measured behavioral impulsivity relates to suicide attempt history

Donald M. Dougherty, Charles W. Mathias, Dawn M. Marsh, T. Dorina Papageorgiou, Alan C. Swann, F. Gerard Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between laboratory behavioral measured impulsivity (using the Immediate and Delayed Memory Tasks) and suicidal attempt histories. Three groups of adults were recruited, those with either: no previous suicide attempts (Control, n = 20), only a single suicide attempt (Single, n = 20), or multiple suicidal attempts (Multiple, n = 10). As hypothesized, impulsive responses increased with the number of suicide attempts (Control < Single < Multiple). This study helps to demonstrate how laboratory behavioral measures of impulsivity can be used to discriminate groups based on suicidal histories among samples not currently exhibiting significant suicidal behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-385
Number of pages12
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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