Title

The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide and Exposure to Video Game Violence

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2014

School

Psychology

Abstract

According to the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS), individuals become capable of withstanding the pain and fear associated with a suicide attempt through habituation to painful and/or frightening stimuli. This capability, referred to as the acquired capability for suicide, is composed of both pain tolerance and fearlessness about death. Although most often these two components have been confounded in the literature, recent investigations utilizing the IPTS have found differential relationships between these components and specific life experiences. In the current study, we investigated the relationship between exposure to violent video games and both components of acquired capability. Given that a limited number of studies have found relationships between suicide ideation and excessive video game play, we also investigated the relationships among violent video game exposure, thwarted belongingness, perceived burden-someness, and passive suicide ideation. We hypothesized that exposure to violent video games would be positively associated with fearlessness about death, but not pain tolerance; additionally we explored the notion that violent video game exposure is associated with the other constructs of the IPTS. In a sample of 781 undergraduate students, we found an association between violent video game exposure and fearlessness about death; no other meaningful significant results were found.

Publication Title

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Volume

39

Issue

6

First Page

512

Last Page

535

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