Predicting Future Suicidal Behavior Using Implicit Association Testing Administered in the Psychiatric Emergency Department of a Safety Net Hospital

Implicit Association Tests (IATs) are computerized tests that can be used to assess the subconscious association between different concepts. Specifically, it has been shown that a form of the IAT, the Suicide Implicit Association Test (S-IAT), can measure people’s associations between the “self” and concepts relating to death/dying/suicide and that results of the S-IAT can be related to suicidal behavior. Another form of the IAT, the Self-Injury Implicit Association test (SI-IAT), can measure people’s associations between self and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)1-3. This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of using the S-IAT and SI-IAT in a racially and ethnically diverse emergency department in order to assess the predictive association of these tests on suicidal behavior in the BMC ED population. Social determinants of health (SDOH) and discrimination experiences of the patients who participate in S-IAT and SI-IAT testing will also be examined to further explore the relationships between SDOH, discrimination, and suicidal behavior.

PIs: Alison Duncan, MD and Vonzella Bryant, MD

  1. Glenn JJ, Werntz AJ, Slama SJ, Steinman SA, Teachman BA, Nock MK. Suicide and self-injury-related implicit cognition: A large-scale examination and replication. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2017;126(2):199.
  2. Nock MK, Banaji MR. Prediction of suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents using a brief performance-based test. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology. 2007;75(5):707.
  3. Nock MK, Park JM, Finn CT, Deliberto TL, Dour HJ, Banaji MR. Measuring the suicidal mind: Implicit cognition predicts suicidal behavior. Psychological science. 2010;21(4):511-517