Counseling Department


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


John C. Thomas

Primary Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical; Psychology, General


Affect regulation, Attachment, Self-discrepancy, Suicide


Suicide, an intended self-destructive behavior, has various etiological risk factors related to social, biochemical, psychological, and even political components. Due to the need of psychological investigations for the multidisciplinary assessment of suicide, the current study was designed to investigate the relationship between attachment and suicide tendency with the mediator, self-discrepancy. A path analysis was utilized in this study to evaluate for the relationship among variables in the model. For the study, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale-Short Form (ECR-S), the Integrated Self-Discrepancy Index (ISDI), and the Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation Inventory (PANSI) were employed as assessment instruments. The sample consisted of Korean and Korean-American adults.

Data analysis revealed that the suicidal participants among the sample had higher mean scores in all scales than the non-suicidal participants. This finding indicates that the suicidal participants were more insecurely attached and self-discrepant than the non-suicidal participants. The multiple regression analyses revealed that self-discrepancy slightly mediated in the relationship between insecure attachment and suicidal tendency. More specifically, actual/ideal self-discrepancy mediated more in the relationship between the insecure anxiety dimension and suicidal tendency than actual/ought self-discrepancy; actual/ought self-discrepancy mediated more in the relationship between the insecure avoidance dimension and suicidal tendency than actual/ideal self-discrepancy. However, the size of the mediating effect was small.