Implicit identification with death detects and predicts short-term suicide risk among adolescents discharged from the emergency room

N. Toukhy, S. Barzilay, S. Hamdan, D. Grisaru-Hergas, L. Haruvi-Catalan, M. Levis Frenk, A. Apter, N. Benaroya-Milshtein, S. Fennig, Y. Gvion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Implicit identification with death, measured by the Death–Suicide-Implicit Association Test (D/S-IAT), has been found to predict long-term suicide risk among adolescents. However, previous studies did not examine the predictive utility of D/S-IAT on short-term suicide risk trajectories among adolescents, especially during the critical period following discharge from the emergency room (ER) due to suicide behaviors. Objective: This study examined the ability of the D/S-IAT to discriminate and predict suicide risk trajectories during the month following initial suicide risk assessment, among adolescents recently discharged from the ER. Methods: One hundred and fifteen adolescents aged 9–18 years (77.4% female) were assessed at clinic intake. All participants completed D/S-IAT and self-report measures for suicide risk, depression, and anxiety during intake and 1-month follow-up. Results: The D/S-IAT distinguished and predicted participants with continued heightened suicide risk at follow-up, above and beyond depression, anxiety, and suicide risk level at intake. Conclusions: Along with conventional measures, D/S-IAT may be utilized to predict short-term suicide risk during post-ER discharge.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Shira Barzilay's work is funded by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Association of Suicidology.


  • adolescents
  • Death/Suicide-Implicit Association Test
  • risk assessment
  • short-term risk
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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