Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) are difficult to predict, and novel risk factors must be identified. While diminished interoception is associated with SITBs cross-sectionally, the current study assesses whether multiple measures of interoception predict future SITBs.
Adults (N = 43) with recent SITBs completed assessments of interoception during a baseline visit. Participants then completed biweekly assessments for 6 months in which they reported the presence and severity/frequency of suicidal ideation and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI).
Multilevel models were performed, where baseline interoceptive measures predicted presence and severity/frequency of suicidal ideation and NSSI at follow-up. The Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA) Trusting subscale was the only significant predictor of the presence/severity of suicidal ideation. The MAIA Trusting, Emotional Awareness, and Body Listening subscales significantly predicted the presence of NSSI. The MAIA Emotional Awareness subscale and the Body Perception Questionnaire significantly predicted NSSI frequency.
Diminished body trust predicted both suicidal ideation and NSSI, indicating a potential shared risk pathway. However, two interoception measures (Body Listening subscale and Body Perception Questionnaire) were associated with NSSI only, indicating potentially unique risk pathways. Given the differential associations between interoception measures and SITBs, results highlight the importance of clearly defining how interoception is measured.