A comparison of delay discounting among substance users with and without suicide attempt history

Richard T Liu, Jasmin Vassileva, Raul Gonzalez, Eileen M Martin
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors 2012, 26 (4): 980-5
Although substance use disorders are associated with overall increased suicide risk, there is considerable variability in suicide risk among substance-dependent individuals (SDIs). Impairment in impulse control is common among SDIs, and it may contribute to vulnerability to suicidal behavior. The present study examined the relation between one specific aspect of impulsivity-delay discounting-and suicide attempt history in a sample of SDIs. An interaction was observed between suicide attempt history and discounting rates across delayed reward size. Specifically, SDIs with no history of attempted suicide, devalued small relative to large delayed rewards. In contrast, SDIs with a history of suicide attempts appeared comparatively indifferent to delayed reward size, discounting both small and large delayed rewards at essentially identical rates. These findings provide evidence that, despite the view that SDIs are characterized by marked difficulties in impulsivity, significant variability exists within this group in delay-discounting tendencies. Furthermore, these differences provide preliminary evidence that specific aspects of impulsivity may help to identify those most at risk for suicidal behavior in this population. The potential implications of our findings for suicide prevention efforts are discussed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"