AuthorGONZALEZ FORESTIER, TOMAS.
Committee ChairDomino, George
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAttitudes toward suicide have been linked to the way health professionals and lay people behave toward suicidal individuals. In some instances negative attitudes toward suicidal persons seem to have contributed to repeated attempts or to suicide completion. This study examines attitudes held by college students toward suicide, explores whether their attitudes are related to their skills at recognizing therapeutic verbal interventions, and seeks to identify personality variables that might predict attitudes toward suicide as well as skills at recognizing therapeutic interventions. Three instruments, the Suicide Opinion Questionnaire (SOQ), the Suicide Intervention Response Inventory (SIRI), and the California Psychological Inventory (CPI), were administered to 215 volunteer undergraduates (122 males and 93 females) from introductory psychology classes. Subjects' modal age range was 18 to 21 years. Forty-five attitudinal items from the SOQ yielded a total favorableness score for each subject; skills at recognizing suicide intervention responses to imaginary suicide callers was rated by a SIRI score from 0 to 25. The first hypothesis, that favorableness in attitudes toward suicide would correlate positively with skills at recognizing facilitative suicide intervention responses, was not supported by test data. The second hypothesis was accepted in that both, favorableness in attitudes toward suicide (SOQ scores) and recognition of faciliative intervention responses (SIRI scores), can be predicted from a personality test. SOQ scores were predicted positively by CPI scales Flexibility, and Achievement via independence, and negatively by Achievement via conformance. SIRI scores were predicted positively by Intellectual efficiency and Dominance, and negatively by Good Impression. The literature identifies flexibility as one of the behaviors of good crisis intervention workers. An implication from this study is that students showing more flexibility and autonomy are likely to show also more favorableness in attitudes toward suicide. Another implication is that students who are more intelligent and quick at making use of their intellectual abilities, who show initiative, and who have a moderate concern about their impression on others, are more likely to recognize intervention responses that may be helpful to suicidal persons.