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Marital Breakdown, Shame, and Suicidality in Men: A Direct Link?

Authors

  • Kairi Kõlves PhD,

    1. Kairi Kõlves, Naoko Ide, and Diego De Leo, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Brisbane QLD, Australia.
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  • Naoko Ide BSc,

    1. Kairi Kõlves, Naoko Ide, and Diego De Leo, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Brisbane QLD, Australia.
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  • Diego De Leo DSc

    1. Kairi Kõlves, Naoko Ide, and Diego De Leo, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Brisbane QLD, Australia.
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  • This study was performed through a grant from the Australian Research Council (DP0558922, An Investigation into Suicidal Behaviors by Males during the Process of Marital and De Facto Separation). We are deeply indebted with all the members of Relationship Australia-Qld, Family Relationship Centre-Qld, Mensline, Lifeline, and Centacare who have rendered this investigation possible. Thanks also to Dr. Marianne Wyder, who participated in the early stages of the research process.

Address correspondence to Prof. Diego De Leo, Griffith University Mt Gravatt Campus, Brisbane QLD 4122, Australia; E-mail: d.deleo@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

The influence of feelings of shame originating from marital breakdown on suicidality is examined. The role of mental health problems as probable mediating factors is also considered. Internalized shame, state (related to separation) shame, and mental health problems were significantly correlated with the score for suicidality during separation in both genders. Tested structural equation model indicated that internalized shame was not directly linked to suicidality, but was mediated either by state shame or mental health problems in males in the context of separation. Our findings seem to indicate that separated males are more vulnerable to the experience of state shame in the context of separation, which might lead to the development of suicidality.

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