Separate and interactive contributions of weak inhibitory control and threat sensitivity to prediction of suicide risk

Noah C. Venables*, Martin Sellbom, Andre Sourander, Kenneth S. Kendler, Thomas E. Joiner, Laura E. Drislane, Lauri Sillanmäki, Henrik Elonheimo, Kai Parkkola, Petteri Multimaki, Christopher J. Patrick

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    60 Citations (Scopus)


    Biobehavioral dispositions can serve as valuable referents for biologically oriented research on core processes with relevance to many psychiatric conditions. The present study examined two such dispositional variables-weak response inhibition (or disinhibition; INH-) and threat sensitivity (or fearfulness; THT+)-as predictors of the serious transdiagnostic problem of suicide risk in two samples: male and female outpatients from a U.S. clinic (N=1078), and a population-based male military cohort from Finland (N=3855). INH- and THT+ were operationalized through scores on scale measures of disinhibition and fear/fearlessness, known to be related to DSM-defined clinical conditions and brain biomarkers. Suicide risk was assessed by clinician ratings (clinic sample) and questionnaires (both samples). Across samples and alternative suicide indices, INH- and THT+ each contributed uniquely to prediction of suicide risk-beyond internalizing and externalizing problems in the case of the clinic sample where diagnostic data were available. Further, in both samples, INH- and THT+ interactively predicted suicide risk, with individuals scoring concurrently high on both dispositions exhibiting markedly augmented risk. Findings demonstrate that dispositional constructs of INH- and THT+ are predictive of suicide risk, and hold potential as referents for biological research on suicidal behavior.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)461-466
    Number of pages6
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2015


    Dive into the research topics of 'Separate and interactive contributions of weak inhibitory control and threat sensitivity to prediction of suicide risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this