Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Michael D. Anestis, Ph.D.

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Bradley A. Green, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Jon T. Mandracchia, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Abstract

The primary aims of this study were to examine constructs of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS) in an understudied population. Differences in levels of IPTS variables and suicidal ideation between university students with and without physical disabilities were examined. Participants were 184 students from two Southern universities who provided answers to online-based self-report questionnaires. It was hypothesized that students with physical disabilities would endorse higher levels of all IPTS constructs relative to students without physical disabilities. It was further hypothesized that disability status would exhibit an indirect effect on suicidal ideation through perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Results indicated no differences in IPTS variables and suicidal desire between students with and without physical disabilities, and the tests of indirect effects were non-significant. The possibility exists that these null findings were partly due to the limitations of the study. This proposed study is preliminary and will serve to better inform future research regarding suicide and disability status.

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