Title

The Relationship Between Negative Life Events and Suicidal Behavior

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Description

Background: Individuals who experience negative life events may be at increased risk for suicidal behavior. Intrapersonal characteristics, such as basic psychological needs, however, may buffer this association. Aims: To assess the potential moderating role of overall basic psychological needs, and the separate components of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, on the association between negative life events and suicidal behavior. MethodOur sample of 439 college students (311 females, 71%) completed the following self-report surveys: Life Events Scale, Basic Psychological Needs Scale, Beck Depression Inventory ; II, and the Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised. Results: In support of our hypotheses, negative life events were associated with greater levels of suicidal ideation and attempts, and satisfaction of basic psychological needs, including autonomy, relatedness, and competence, significantly moderated this relationship, over and above the effects of the covariates of age, sex, and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Suicidal behavior associated with the experience of negative life events is not inevitable. Therapeutically bolstering competence, autonomy, and relatedness may be an important suicide prevention strategy for individuals experiencing life stressors.