Title of Thesis
Suicidal Ideation and Problem Solving Skills of
University Students of Ireland
Department of Psychology / University of
|Number of Pages|
|Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and
abstract of thesis)|
Suicidal, Ideation, Problem,
Solving, Skills, University, Students, Ireland, Ideators, European Parasuicide
To investigate whether suicidal ideation is an indicator of suicide risk, a study was undertaken to examine the ability of suicidal ideation to distinguish population segments on the basis of their attitudes to suicidal behaviour and their own problem solving ability. Three hundred and fifty students attending University College Cork, Ireland were randomly selected and administered the questionnaire used was designed specifically for the present study and comprised four self-report measures in English language appeared in the following order. Demographic information was modified from the socio-demographic section of the European Parasuicide study Interview schedule (Kerkhof et al, 1994), Four factorially derived Clinical Scales from the Suicide Opinion Questionnaire (Domino et al., 1996), Suicide History Questionnaire was modified from the demographic section of the Suicide Opinion Questionnaire (Domino et al., 1982), The Self-rating Problem Solving Scale (McLeavey and Daly, 1988). The mean age of the sample was 19.1 years, with a model age of 18. Age ranged from 17 years to 25 years. Respondents were allocated to one of three groups on the basis of their lifetime suicidal ideation history: Non-ideators: 239 respondents (69%) who had never considered suicide in their lifetime; Ideators: 109 respondents (31%) who had considered suicide at least once; Planners: 21 Ideators who had made a plan for self-harm. Non-ideators had the highest problem solving scores and were significantly better than planners (p < 0.001) and Ideators (p < 0.001).
Ideators without a plan scored higher than planners (p<0.435). Male and female respondents did not differ significantly overall, but they did exhibit distinctly different patterns in problem solving across ideation levels. Non-ideators were significantly less in agreement than the Ideators and Planners (p < 0.001) with the attitude that suicidal behaviour is normal. Non-ideators were also significantly less in agreement than Ideators (p < 0.001) and Planners (p < 0.015) with the behaviour that people have the right to take their own lives. There were no significant gender differences on any of the attitude scores. Test-retest correlations were significant for all scales (p < 0.01). One-quarter of the Planners reported that they were more likely than not to attempt suicide while only 2% of Non-ideators and Ideators respectively expressed this estimate. Step-wise selection of predictor variables indicated that gender, normality and problem- solving scores were effective as gender and all five scales combined correctly classifying one-third of the Ideators and approximately half of the Planners. The findings are evaluated in terms of predicting the suicide risk.