Exercise caution: over-exercise is associated with suicidality among individuals with disordered eating.

April R. Smith, Erin L. Fink, Michael D. Anestis, Jessica D. Ribeiro, Kathryn H. Gordon, Heather Davis, Pamela K. Keel, Anna M. Bardone-Cone, Carol B. Peterson, Marjorie H. Klein, Scott Crow, James E. Mitchell, Ross D. Crosby, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Daniel le Grange, Thomas E. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

We conducted four studies to examine the relationship between over-exercise and suicidality. Study 1 investigated whether over-exercise predicted suicidal behavior after controlling for other eating disorder behaviors in a patient sample of 204 women (144 with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) Bulimia Nervosa [BN]). Study 2 tested the prospective association between over-exercise and acquired capability for suicide (ACS) in a sample of 171 college students followed for 3-4 weeks. Study 3 investigated whether pain insensitivity accounted for the relationship between over-exercise and ACS in a new sample of 467 college students. Study 4 tested whether ACS accounted for the relationship between over-exercise and suicidal behavior in a sample of 512 college students. In Study 1, after controlling for key covariates, over-exercise was the only disordered eating variable that maintained a significant relationship with suicidal behavior. In Study 2, Time 1 over-exercise was the only disordered eating behavior that was associated with Time 2 ACS. In Study 3, pain insensitivity accounted for the relationship between over-exercise and ACS. In Study 4, ACS accounted for the relationship between over-exercise and suicidal behavior. Over-exercise appears to be associated with suicidal behavior, an association accounted for by pain insensitivity and the acquired capability for suicide; notably, this association was found across a series of four studies with different populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-255
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
Volume206
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 30 2013

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    Smith, A. R., Fink, E. L., Anestis, M. D., Ribeiro, J. D., Gordon, K. H., Davis, H., Keel, P. K., Bardone-Cone, A. M., Peterson, C. B., Klein, M. H., Crow, S., Mitchell, J. E., Crosby, R. D., Wonderlich, S. A., le Grange, D., & Joiner, T. E. (2013). Exercise caution: over-exercise is associated with suicidality among individuals with disordered eating. Unknown Journal, 206(2-3), 246-255.