Understanding the Pathways from Depression to Suicidal Risk from the Perspective of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide

Nan Kang, Jianing You, Jiyi Huang, Yaxuan Ren, Min pei Lin, Sian Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Suicide is a major public health concern, especially in adolescence. Identifying risk factors for suicide is important to effectively prevent such behavior. Depression is one of the most widely examined risk factors for suicidal risk. How depression and suicidal risk are related, however, is still not clear. This study tested a model with three key constructs of the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior (IPTS)-perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI)-as mediators in the relationship between depression and suicidal risk among Chinese adolescents. Chinese high school students (N = 1,074; 54.2% male; M age = 13.87 years, SD = 1.48) completed questionnaires assessing all study variables. Results suggested that perceived burdensomeness and NSSI partially mediated the relationship between depression and suicidal risk. Findings of this study emphasize the importance of the IPTS framework in understanding the possible mechanisms underlying the relationship between depression and suicidal risk, and suggest a possible avenue for suicide interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-694
Number of pages11
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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