Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas E. Ellis

Second Advisor

Wendy Williams

Third Advisor

Marty Amerikaner


Suicide has become a national and global problem, with the prevalence of suicide attempts increasing in recent years (Brown, Henriques, Sosdjan, & Beck, 2004; Kessler, Borges, & Walters, 1999). Even though research on suicide has identified risk factors and demographic characteristics to help aid in predicting who is at risk for attempting suicide, predictive models of intent of suicide have been unsuccessful in identifying particular individuals at risk of eventually dying by suicide (Cassells, Paterson, Dowding, & Morrison, 2005; Goldstein, Black, & Nasrallah, 1991; Powell, Geddes, Deeks, Goldacre, & Hawton, 2000). The purpose of this study is to propose an alternative framework to studying suicide by utilizing the theory of planned behavior to explain variables associated with suicidal ideation and intent. Differences in individual attitudes, beliefs, and social norms were also compared to levels of depression and hopelessness to help understand the components that contribute to suicidal ideation. The results revealed that the theory of planned behavior variables explained 49% of the variance in suicidal ideation, with perceived behavioral control accounting for the largest proportion of the variance. The theory of planned behavior variables was also found to explain more variance than depression and hopelessness in suicidal ideation.


Suicide - Psychological aspects.