Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Owen Richard Lightsey

Committee Member

Pamela A. Cogdal

Committee Member

Suzanne H. Lease

Committee Member

Stephen A. Zanskas


Background: Research indicates health professionals, particularly psychologists, may be at a uniquely high risk for attempting or committing suicide. Factors predicting increased risk for suicide among the general population (e.g., gender and mental illness) may also increase risk among psychologists. Risk of suicide among psychologists may also be attributable to occupational factors (e.g., burnout or secondary traumatic stress) or their potential for higher levels of past trauma than professionals in other fields. Finally, resilience and meaning in life may serve as protective factors among psychologists. Aims: To examine demographic factors, mental health factors, work factors, past experiences of trauma, and protective factors for their ability to predict suicidality and to examine resilience as a potential moderator of the relationship between vulnerability factors and suicidality. Method: A sample of 172 psychologists anonymously completed online questionnaires; hierarchical multiple regression procedures were used for analysis. Findings: Having a family history of suicide, number of experienced lifetime traumas, and general level of depression/anxiety over the lifetime predicted higher suicidality among psychologists. Resilience was found to moderate the relationship between both family history of suicide and recent anxiety/depression and suicidality such that these relationships were strengthened at higher levels of resilience.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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