The Correlation of Self-Esteem and Suicide

Topics: Suicide, Parasuicide, Bipolar disorder Pages: 4 (1462 words) Published: October 16, 2012
Assignment topic 1:
The correlation of self-esteem and suicide

The text book debates the merits of high self-esteem, noting that high self-esteem is not always good. Carry out research on one potential correlate with self-esteem. Answer the following questions : Why might the 2 factors be connected?

What does research on this connection show?
Propose how the relationahip could be further studied.

Suicide, the act deliberate taking of one's life, disturbs and threatens human society. At least a million people are estimated to die annually from suicide worldwide (Wasserman, Qi & Jiang, 2005) and what is of greater concern is that suicide rates among the young have increased dramatically in the past three decades (Wasserman, 2001). The beginning of the 20th century marked a very important time for suicide research and suicide prevention (Pompili, 2010). One of the outcomes of the extensive research is the finding that self-esteem correlates with suicidal behaviour, which includes suicidal ideation, suicidal threats, self-injuring actions and suicidal attempts (Bagley & Ramsey, 1997). Many studies have demonstrated strong connections between the two concepts (Marciano & Kazdin, 1994). This paper seeks to explain the relationship between self-esteem and suicidal behaviour, citing current research on this correlation, as well as propose how this relationship could be further studied.

This paper will first explore how might self-esteem and suicidal behaviour be connected. Self-esteem refers to how favourably someone evaluates himself and it is a very important aspect of personal well-being and adjustment (Passer et al., 2009, p.678). According to the theory of personal constructs (Kelly, 1950), people construct reality in according to their own cognitive schemas. Applying this theory, people with low self-esteem would construe a more pessimistic view of themselves. When faced with the same life stresses, which can be external, such as...


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Marciano, P.L., & Kazdin, A.E. (1994). depression, hopelessness, and self-esteem: accounting for suicidality in adolescent psychiatric inpatients. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology,, 29(4), 309-318.
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Passer, M., Smith, R.E., & Holt, N., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M
Pompili, M. (2010). From bench to bedside in the prevention of suicide: a never-ending back and forth journey. Crisis, 31(2), 59-61.
Thompson, A.H
Wasserman, D. (2001). Suicide - an unnecessary death. London: Dunitz.
Wasserman, D., Qi, C., & Jiang, G.J. (2005). Global suicide rates among young people aged 15-19. World Psychiatry, 4(2), 114–120.
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