Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

1997

Thesis Director

William G. Kirk

Abstract

The present study examined whether demographics such as education level, age, gender, religious background, and experience with suicide affected individuals attitudes toward suicide with 93 college students. The Suicide Opinion Questionnaire (SOQ) was used to assess attitudes including: acceptability-normality; mental & moral illness; suicide as semi-serious; religion; risk; and normality. The Suicide Attitude Vignette Experience (SAVE) was used to measure attitudes toward a number of different problem areas. Church attendance was the best predictor of an individual's attitude toward suicide. Females scored higher, but not significantly so, on the sympathy, empathy, and agree scales of the SAVE. College students viewed suicide negatively but did not see it as immoral. No gender differences were evident concerning knowing someone who had completed suicide. Individuals who have considered or attempted suicide see it as more rational and appropriate. Clinical implications and limitations of the study are discussed.

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