Suicidal behavior and personality disorders

Michael D. Anestis, Katherine L. Dixon-Gordon, Kim L. Gratz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Personality disorders are distinct patterns of thought, behavior, and emotion that are persistent over time and problematic for the individual and/or others. Of particular concern, personality disorders are associated with alarmingly high risk for suicidal behaviors. The vast majority of research in this area has focused on Cluster B personality disorders and, more specifically, borderline personality disorder (BPD) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). As such, the bulk of our review will focus on these two conditions. Risk factors will be considered through two prominent theoretical frameworks: the biosocial theory and the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior. In particular, the roles of emotion dysregulation, childhood sexual abuse, and psychopathy will be explored in depth. We will conclude our review with a discussion of the limited extant research considering suicidality in other personality disorders and ways in which future research in this area can maintain relevance to shifting diagnostic frameworks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvancing the Science of Suicidal Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding and Intervention
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781634632379
ISBN (Print)9781634632133
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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