Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Kral, M.


Psychology, Clinical.




The purpose of this research was to address the absence of psychological theory explaining the nature of young adult parasuicide by moving beyond the generic demographic and epidemiological correlates and developing a more focussed and practically viable conception of the psychological processes involved. Three hundred twenty-seven young adults (ages 18--25) were recruited to develop this psychological conception. Building upon past investigation that demonstrated problematic romantic and family relationships were related to depression and suicidal behaviour in young adults, this current research examined three additional developmentally relevant variables. These variables, shame, self diversity, and interpersonal dependence, are conceptually linked with the previously investigated variables, but have only been evaluated in terms of young adult suicide in limited ways. Theoretically it was conceptualized that the suicidal behaviour of young adults would be connected to problems in salient romantic relationships with concomitant shame. These relationship problems would be aggravated by interpersonal dependence and low self diversity, which would be connected to family dysfunction. Important aspects of these theoretical relationships were supported via correlational, regression, and mediational analyses. Romantic problems were related to parasuicide, self diversity, guilt, and depression, but not with shame or interpersonal dependence. Shame was related to parasuicide, family dysfunction, guilt, interpersonal dependence, and depression. Family dysfunction was related to romantic problems, guilt, shame, depression, parasuicide and self diversity, but not with interpersonal dependence. Significant predictors of young adult parasuicide were depression, family dysfunction, and guilt. Analyses revealed that depression and guilt were acting as mediators selectively muting the predictive presence of shame, self diversity, interpersonal dependence, family dysfunction, and guilt. The theoretical and clinical implications of these complex inter-relationships are discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2003 .O57. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 64-08, Section: B, page: 4055. Adviser: Michael Kral. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2003.