Meaning in life as a protective factor against suicidal tendencies in Chinese university students

Bob LEW, Ksenia CHISTOPOLSKAYA, Augustine OSMAN, Jenny Mei Yiu HUEN, Mansor ABU TALIB, Nga Man LEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: A substantial increase in rates of suicide worldwide, especially among late adolescents and young adults, has been observed. It is important to identify specific risk and protective factors for suicide-related behaviors among late adolescents and young adults. Identifying specific factors across the masses, not only in the Western, but also in the Asian context, helps researchers develop empirically informed intervention methods for the management of protective and risk factors of suicide.
Methods: In the current study, 2074 students (706 males), filled out the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, with subscales of Search for Meaning (MLQ-S) and Presence of Meaning (MLQ-P); the Future Disposition Inventory-24 (FDI-24), with subscales of Positive Focus (PF), Suicide Orientation (SO), and Negative Focus (NF); and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). These scales measure protective and risk factors that are linked to suicidal behaviors; while suicidal behaviors were measured by the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R). Mediation analyses were performed to test the models with both the MLQ-S and MLQ-P as the mediators between a) hopelessness, as measured by BHS and suicidal behaviors; and b) PF, SO, and NF, as measured by FDI-24, and suicidal behaviors.
Results: We found that only MLQ-P mediated the relation between hopelessness and suicidal behaviors; while both MLQ-P and MLQ-S mediated PF, SO, and NF (as measured by FDI-24), and suicidal behaviors, respectively.
Conclusion: Meaning in life, including both the presence of meaning in life and search for meaning, can be good protective factors against suicidal behaviors. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Article number73
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online date18 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2020

Citation

Lew, B., Chistopolskaya, K., Osman, A., Huen, J. M. Y., Abu Talib, M., & Leung, A. N. M. (2020). Meaning in life as a protective factor against suicidal tendencies in Chinese university students. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02485-4

Keywords

  • Meaning in life
  • Protective factor
  • FDI-24
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicide
  • China

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