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Keywords:

  • suicidal ideation;
  • suicide attempt;
  • reasons for living;
  • hopelessness;
  • college students

Objective

The present study examined whether reasons for living (RFL) would partially account for the associations between traditional risk factors (depressive symptoms, hopelessness) and suicidal ideation and attempts.

Method

Data were collected from 1,075 undergraduate college students who completed a battery of online assessments.

Results

Results from a series of simultaneous mediational models indicated that the relations between risk factors and current suicidal ideation were partially mediated by total RFL (and Coping Beliefs and Self-Evaluation subscales). Further, total RFL (and the Coping Beliefs subscale) fully mediated the relation between hopelessness and past-year suicide attempt, and partially mediated the depressive symptoms-suicide attempt relation.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates the importance of assessing for the presence of these suicide risk and protective factors. Implications for the improved identification and treatment of young adults at risk for suicide are discussed.