Semester of Graduation

Spring

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Clinical Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Extant research has found that attentional biases to suicide-related stimuli are relevant to suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). As such, attentional biases are a core feature of both the Fluid Vulnerability Theory of Suicide and the cognitive model of suicide. Individuals with an STB history have demonstrated attentional biases to suicide-related stimuli on a suicide Stroop task, and this attentional bias has been found to aid in prediction of suicide attempts at six-month follow-up. Better understanding this attentional bias may be useful for informing mindfulness-based interventions which target attentional biases, as dispositional mindfulness has been found to be related to less interference on both the classic Stroop and emotional Stroop. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of administering the suicide Stroop over the internet, determine if participants with past week suicidal ideation (SI) demonstrate a greater attentional bias to suicide-related stimuli than individuals who deny past week SI, and to determine if dispositional mindfulness moderates the relation between attentional biases on the suicide Stroop and past week SI severity. Participants were recruited based on their SI history using an online survey platform. Results indicated that (1) the suicide Stroop demonstrated unacceptable internal consistency reliability, construct validity, and criterion validity, (2) individuals who endorsed past week SI did not significantly differ from those who denied past week SI on mean RTs to suicide related stimuli, and (3) dispositional mindfulness was negatively related to past week SI severity. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

Committee Chair

Tucker, Raymond

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