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J Autism Dev Disord. 2019 Dec 9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-019-04323-3. [Epub ahead of print]

Is Camouflaging Autistic Traits Associated with Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours? Expanding the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide in an Undergraduate Student Sample.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. Sarah.Cassidy@Nottingham.ac.uk.
2
Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Sarah.Cassidy@Nottingham.ac.uk.
3
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK.
4
School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK.
5
Centre for Innovative Research Across the Lifespan, Coventry University, Coventry, UK.
6
Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Abstract

The current study explored whether people who camouflage autistic traits are more likely to experience thwarted belongingness and suicidality, as predicted by the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS). 160 undergraduate students (86.9% female, 18-23 years) completed a cross-sectional online survey from 8th February to 30th May 2019 including self-report measures of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, autistic traits, depression, anxiety, camouflaging autistic traits, and lifetime suicidality. Results suggest that camouflaging autistic traits is associated with increased risk of experiencing thwarted belongingness and lifetime suicidality. It is important for suicide theories such as the IPTS to include variables relevant to the broader autism phenotype, to increase applicability of models to both autistic and non-autistic people.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum conditions; Autistic traits; Broader autism phenotype; Camouflaging; Interpersonal psychological theory of suicide; Masking; Suicidality; Suicide

PMID:
31820344
DOI:
10.1007/s10803-019-04323-3

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