Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

1254

Date

2014

Date of Award

12-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Committee Chair

Anna Mueller

Committee Member

Martin Levin

Committee Member

Jeni Loftus

Abstract

Sociological research on suicide often emphasizes Durkheim’s notion that social integration provides protection against self-harm; however, research in medical sociology demonstrates that social relationships are not always beneficial to mental health. With this study, I use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to examine how social integration via romantic relationships shapes suicidality in young adulthood. Interestingly, the mere presence of a romantic relationship is not protective against suicidal thoughts; for example, married or cohabiting individuals are no less likely to report suicide ideation than single individuals. However, men and women in high quality romantic relationships are less likely to report suicidal thoughts. Further, men and women are more likely to report having suicidal thoughts if they are unhappy with or less committed to their relationships. My findings suggest that social ties may protect or harm individuals’ mental health depending on the qualities of the relationship.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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