Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jon R. Webb

Committee Members

Jon R. Webb, Matthew T. McBee, Jameson K. Hirsch


Research has long documented beneficial associations between forgiveness and numerous health outcomes; however, its relationship to suicidal behavior has been relatively neglected. Both cynicism, and psychache, or agonizing psychological pain, have displayed deleterious associations with suicidal behavior, but have rarely been incorporated into more comprehensive models of suicidal behavior. Recent work has resulted in the development of a theoretical model of the forgiveness-suicidal behavior association, which can incorporate several mediator variables including cynicism and psychache. The present study used an undergraduate sample of college students (N = 312) to test a serial mediation model of the cross-sectional associations between forgiveness, cynicism, psychache, and suicidal behavior. Forgiveness of self and of uncontrollable situations were indirectly associated with suicidal behavior via psychache, while forgiveness of others was indirectly associated via cynicism and psychache in serial fashion. Implications in the context of previous literature and treatment, particularly acceptance-based interventions, are discussed.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.