Interpersonal Influences on Young Adults’ Suicidal Ideation: A Cross-Cultural Comparison

Nikita Krishnan, Pace University


Suicide continues to be a major mental health concern globally, with almost one million people dying by suicide every year (Nock et al., 2008). This study is guided by T. Joiner’s (2005) interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior, which proposes that the presence of two negative interpersonal states—perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness—can potentially result in an individual’s inclination to die by suicide. Therefore, one of the purposes of this study is to examine the mediation effect of two interpersonal risk factors—perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness—on the association between academic stress, perfectionistic family discrepancy, and suicidal ideation in a sample of American college students studying in the United States and Indian college students studying in India. In addition, because hopelessness has been found to be a stronger and more stable predictor for suicidal behavior than depression and substance use disorder (Kuo, Gallo, & Eaton, 2004), and has been proven one of the strongest predictor variables towards suicidal ideation in cross-cultural research (Stewart et al., 2005), it is assessed in the present study as an outcome variable along with suicidal ideation. Another important component of this study is to investigate the moderation effect of culture (individualistic culture in the United States as opposed to collectivistic culture in India) on the relationship between interpersonal factors and suicidal ideation in a sample of American college students and Indian college students. The aim here is to gather findings that will provide an increased understanding of the impact of interpersonal factors on this population from a clinical perspective, especially among students from collectivistic cultures.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Mental health|Behavioral psychology

Recommended Citation

Krishnan, Nikita, "Interpersonal Influences on Young Adults’ Suicidal Ideation: A Cross-Cultural Comparison" (2019). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI27742563.



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