Recent findings suggest that neurocognitive deficits may hasten progression from suicidal thoughts to behavior. To test this proposition, we examined whether neurocognitive deficits distinguish individuals who have attempted suicide (attempters) from those who have considered suicide but never attempted (ideators). A comprehensive literature search yielded 14 studies comparing attempters to ideators on a range of neurocognitive abilities. In general, attempters and ideators scored comparably across neurocognitive abilities (median Hedges' g = −.18). An exception was a moderate difference for inhibition and decision making (median Hedges' g = −.50 and g = −.49, respectively). Results suggest that some neurocognitive abilities might help explain the transition from suicidal thoughts to suicide attempts. However, findings are regarded as suggestive, given the small number of studies, few cross‐study examinations of neurocognitive domains, and variability in sample characteristics. Recommendations for future research are included.
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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