Correlates of suicidal thoughts and attempts in males engaging in muscle dysmorphia or eating disorder symptoms

Shelby N. Ortiz, Lauren N. Forrest, April R. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Despite the high rates of suicidality in body dysmorphic disorder and eating disorders (EDs), research on suicidality in a related disorder, muscle dysmorphia (MD), is essentially nonexistent. Thus, this study tested relations between suicidal thoughts and behaviors and MD and ED symptoms in an online male community sample. Method: A total of 464 males (Mage = 40.3; 85% Caucasian) recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk completed measures that evaluated ED symptoms, MD symptoms, current suicidal ideation, and past suicide attempts. Results: Most MD and ED symptoms were correlated with current suicidal ideation and previous suicide attempts. In multivariate regression models, vomiting and appearance intolerance remained significantly related to suicidal ideation, while hard exercise and lower functional impairment were significantly related to prior suicide attempts. Conclusion: Results indicate that appearance dissatisfaction, a core MD criterion, and hard exercise, a common behavioral symptom of MD, are associated with suicidality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this