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The Impact of the Nature of Relationships on Perceived Burdensomeness and Suicide Ideation in a Community Sample of Older Adults


Address correspondence to Kelly C. Cukrowicz, PhD, Department of Psychology, Mail Stop 42051, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2051, USA; E-mail:


Older adults die by suicide at very high rates, and previous research indicates that perceived burdensomeness may contribute to deaths by suicide. In this study, the impact of the nature of relationships on perceived burdensomeness and suicide ideation was examined. Results indicated that older adults’ perceptions of burden on younger generations were associated with greater overall perceived burdensomeness and suicide ideation when compared to the older adults’ own or older generations. Thus, clinicians should examine general perceived burdensomeness as well as the types of relationships the older adult perceives himself or herself to be a burden on.