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Meaning in life and demoralization constructs in light of the interpersonal theory of suicide: a trans-theoretical hypothesis for a cross-sectional study

Published inPsychology research and behavior management, vol. 13, p. 855-858
Publication date2020
Abstract

Following V. Frankl's (in the 1950s) and J. Frank's (in the 1970s) historical definitions of the constructs Meaning in Life (MiL) and demoralization, there have been a multitude of studies which have described them from different theoretical perspectives. These constructs are closely linked, with the lack of MiL as one of the subconstructs underlying the definition of demoralization. Numerous studies have shown that MiL and demoralization affect suicidality, as protective and risk factors, respectively. The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS) is a more recent framework conceptualized by T. Joiner (in the 2000s) to provide an additional possible reading key in the effort to better understand suicidality. By analogy to a previous study by E. Kleiman & J. Beaver (2013), examining MiL and demoralization in suicidality through a perspective of the IPTS framework can be of considerable interest. This study showed, in a cohort of undergraduate students, that MiL mediated the relationship between two variables associated with IPTS (perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness) and suicidal ideation (SI). Taking into consideration future studies that these latter authors advocated, our aim is to verify this finding using a cross-sectional study. Differences in our approach would include a) studying a clinical population (suicidal patients attending an emergency department), b) analyzing relationships not only with SI but also with suicidal attempts (SA), and c) in consideration of the interconnection between MiL and demoralization, exploring also the possible role of demoralization as a mediator. The clinical implication lies in identifying multi-faceted targets that may be useful to mitigate suicidality risk in individuals, both in prevention and therapy intervention

Keywords
  • Demoralization
  • Interpersonal theory of suicide
  • Meaning in life
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
Citation (ISO format)
COSTANZA, Alessandra et al. Meaning in life and demoralization constructs in light of the interpersonal theory of suicide: a trans-theoretical hypothesis for a cross-sectional study. In: Psychology research and behavior management, 2020, vol. 13, p. 855–858. doi: 10.2147/PRBM.S279829
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ISSN of the journal1179-1578
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