Emily B. Ansell, Ph.D.

Emily B. Ansell, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine

Young Investigator Grant (2009): $85,000

Mentor: Carlos M. Grilo, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine

Personality Disorders and Suicidal Behaviors: A Prospective Study of Associations, Mediators and Moderators

Abstract: This research will test the prospective associations between anxious, personality disorders (PD, anxious and/or introverted personality phenotype, the “anxious” cluster C PDs, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive and dependent) and suicide-related outcomes (SROs; ideation, plans, attempts) and if the cumulative effect of multiple personality disorders is prospectively associated with suicide related outcomes. It will also examine the potential mediators and moderators of these relations that may explain conflicting research findings. Current research reports on anxious PDs have been mixed and at times contradictory, making it difficult to draw firm conclusions about associations with suicide risk. It is expected that the prospective associations between anxious PDs and suicidal behaviors will directly inform scientific understanding of suicidal behaviors as well as current risk assessment practices by identifying PDs beyond borderline PD and antisocial PD (cluster B PDs) associated with risk for suicidal behaviors. Moreover, findings on the mediators and moderators of these relations will be especially valuable because they will advance the understanding of why and for whom PDs are associated with suicidal thoughts and behavior -- information that will be directly and immediately useful for risk assessment and treatment development.