Type of Document Dissertation Author Yang, Bin URN etd-06062008-162301 Title Effects of early negative life events on cognitive functioning and risk for suicide in a college sample Degree PhD Department Clinical Psychology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Clum, George A. Jr. Committee Chair Cooper, Lee D. Committee Member Finney, Jack W. Committee Member Jones, Russell T. Committee Member Ollendick, Thomas H. Committee Member Sturgis, Ellie T. Committee Member Keywords
- current stress and social support
- cognitive deficits
- childhood social support
- childhood stress
- etiology of suicidality
Date of Defense 1995-04-21 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe present study was designed to examine the etiology of suicidal
behavior from cognitive and developmental perspectives. Given empirical
evidence suggesting links between early negative life events and
suicidal behavior, between early negative life events and cognitive
factors, and between cognitive factors and suicidal behavior, it was
hypothesized that early negative life events may impact individuals'
suicidal behavior by affecting these individuals' cognitive functioning.
That is, cognitive functioning may serve as a mediator in the
relationship between early life events and suicidal behavior. The
present study examined child maltreatment, family instability, and poor
general family environment as early negative life events, and examined
self-esteem, locus of control, hopelessness, and problem-solving
deficits as cognitive factors. In addition, individuals' perceived
social support before age 18 and current social support and life stress
were also examined in relation to the above variables. The subject
sample was comprised of 181 college students, including 51 suicidal, 60
depressed, and 70 normal-control individuals. Results from the study
indicated that these three groups could be discriminated at highly
satisfactory levels by using the above variables. A series of
structural equation analyses also indicated that, even though early
negative life events have mild direct impact on suicidal behavior, these
events seem to have stronger direct impact on cognitive deficits which
in turn seem to have stronger direct impact on suicidal behavior.
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