Suicide is a tragic, complex phenomenon experienced by individuals of all ages, genders and cultures. Given its widespread occurrence, it is important to identify predictive and risk factors in order to develop efficacious prevention and intervention strategies. One factor that has been consistently identified as increasing risk for suicide is being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Persecutory delusions have been most prominently researched in relation to outcome in schizophrenia; however, few studies have investigated the relationship between persecutory delusions and suicide risk for those with this diagnosis. Furthermore, studies that have been conducted are largely quantitative in nature, and therefore are limited by their ability to offer explanations for their results. Understanding quantitative relationships through a theoretical perspective focused on choice and meaning making, such as existential psychology, may increase the specificity and effectiveness of preventative programs and intervention approaches, ultimately leading to more saved lives. This dissertation therefore used archival data from participants in the Chicago Follow-Up Study diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder to explore the relationship between the course of suicidality and persecutory delusions in schizophrenia through an existential lens. Locus of control and self-esteem were included in the analysis as possible mediating variables. Those with high self-esteem endorsed higher suicidal activity, and those with persecutory delusions endorsed higher suicidal activity and a more external locus of control. Implications of these results suggest both self-esteem and locus of control should be addressed as possible mediating factors in the relationship between persecutory delusions and suicide for those diagnosed with schizophrenia.
|School:||The Chicago School of Professional Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Pathology, Psychology|
|Keywords:||Locus of control, Persecutory delusions, Schizophrenia, Self-esteem, Suicide, Treatment|
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