Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

Psychology

Date of Award

5-2017

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jameson K. Hirsch

Committee Members

Jon R.Webb, Matthew T. McBee

Abstract

Young adults of college age are at particular risk for psychopathology, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and consequent suicidal behavior, perhaps in a continuum of increasing severity. However, not all persons who experience psychopathological symptoms, or who self-harm, go on to engage in suicidal behavior, perhaps due to protective factors such as self-compassion that buffer this progression. We examined the mediating effect of NSSI on the relation between anxiety/depressive symptoms and suicide risk, and the moderating role of self-compassion on these linkages. Our collegiate sample (N=338) completed: Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Self-Harm Inventory, Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire-Revised, and the Self-Compassion Scale. Students with greater psychopathology reported more engagement in NSSI and, consequently, more suicide risk; self-compassion weakened the psychopathology-NSSI linkage. Therapeutically addressing risk factors for suicidal behavior (e.g., psychopathology, NSSI), and promoting self-compassion, may halt progression from symptomology to self-harm, thereby ultimately reducing suicide risk in college students.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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