Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Due to the effects of ACEs and impulsive behavior on mental and physical health, it is important to better understand the relationship between these two as well as how they both may influence choices, such as suicide. Numerous studies have identified impulsive behavior as a risk factor for suicide, however, recent research has identified several underlying independent processes that make up impulsivity. This study uses a broad assessment of trait and state impulsivity to gather a more discrete understanding of the underlying processes that contribute to impulsive behavior. The short version UPPS-P scale was used to measure negative urgency, lack of premeditation, lack of perseverance, sensation seeking, and positive urgency, and behavioral lab tasks were used to measure prepotent response inhibition, delay discounting, and distortions in elapsed time. Simple bivariate regressions revealed ACEs are a significant predictor of prepotent response inhibition, total S-UPPS-P scores, as well as the subscales of negative urgency, positive urgency, and sensation seeking. A hierarchical regression found total ACE scores, negative urgency, and distortions in elapsed time to be significant predictors of total suicidal behavior scores. Lastly, an ordinal logistic regression suggests a greater likelihood of going from suicidal ideation to planning, and from planning to attempting when ACEs, negative urgency, and lack of premeditation scores are greater. By identifying these specific dimensions of impulsivity as risk factors for suicidal behaviors, we can recognize individuals at greater risk of attempting, as well as target and mitigate the effects of these behaviors through interventions.

Keywords: Trait Impulsivity, State Impulsivity, ACEs, Suicidal Behaviors


Dr. Janett Naylor-Tincknell

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type



© 2021 Julia K. Duran


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