Out of touch: Interoceptive deficits are elevated in suicide attempters with eating disorders

April Smith, Lauren Forrest, Elizabeth Velkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


People with eating disorders have elevated interoceptive deficits and risk for self-injurious behaviors (SIBs). Across two eating disorder samples, the relationship between interoceptive deficits (IDs) and SIBs was tested. Study 1 (n = 100) found that suicide attempters and those engaging in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) had greater IDs than those with no self-injury history. Lack of access to emotion regulation strategies accounted for the link between IDs and SIBs. In Study 2 (n = 92) multiple suicide attempters had greater IDs than single attempters and those engaging in NSSI; however, the latter two groups did not differ from one another. Interoceptive deficits may differentiate those who engage in severe SIBs from those who do not, and thus be a useful determinant of suicide risk severity among patients with eating disorders. Lack of access to emotion regulation strategies appears to be one pathway linking interoceptive deficits and self-injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-65
Number of pages14
JournalEating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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