Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jon B. Ellis

Committee Members

James R. Bitter, Peggy J. Cantrell


Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Therefore, it is important to discover adaptive life-maintaining characteristics in high risk populations. Many patients with life-threatning illnesses have frequent suicidal thoughts. The difference in reasons for living between men and women with and without chronic illness was investigated. The suicide ideation was determined by ratings on a 48 item Reasons for Living questionnaire. Degree of chronocity of illness and illnes related issues were determined by a demographic questionnaire. Results showed that men commit suicide at a higher rate than women. Results of ANOVA'S indicated that individuals with chronic illness do not have fewer coping skills than individuals without chronic illness. Even though the present study did not indicate that chronic illness is one of the factors that precipitates suicide, research shows that in chronically ill patients depresion is a major risk factor for suicide. Thus it is necessary for researchers to discover additional reasons for living for these individuals to keep them from committing suicide.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons