Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




The phenomenology of suicidal thoughts and behaviour has been an area of increased interest in recent years. One particular area of focus is psychological pain, or psychache. In this dissertation, Edwin Shneidman's psychological theory of suicide was studied. Shneidman has theorized that psychological needs are associated with the development of psychological pain, which in turn leads to suicide as an escape from pain. Two hundred and fifty-seven undergraduate students completed the Personality Research Form, the Psychache Scale, the Orbach and Mikulincer Mental Pain Scale, two items from Shneidman's Psychological Pain Assessment Scale, as well as demographic and suicide history items. Measures of psychological pain demonstrated convergent validity. Low need for affiliation and high impulsivity were significantly related to psychological pain. All measures of psychological pain were associated with suicidal ideation and history of suicide attempts. Possible gender differences emerged. This study provides some evidence for Shneidman's theory, although not all identified needs were supported. The importance of understanding the role of psychological pain in the phenomenology of suicidal thinking and behaviour is emphasized.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .D375. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-11, Section: B, page: 6267. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.