Investigating the relationship between self-esteem and stigma among young adults with history of suicide attempts

Meshan Lehmann, Matthew R. Hilimire, Lawrence H. Yang, Bruce G. Link, Jordan E. DeVylder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Self-esteem is a major contributor to risk for repeated suicide attempts. Prior research has shown that awareness of stigma is associated with reduced self-esteem among people with mental illness. No prior studies have examined the association between self-esteem and stereotype awareness among individuals with past suicide attempts. Aims: To understand the relationship between stereotype awareness and self-esteem among young adults who have and have not attempted suicide. Method: Computerized surveys were administered to college students (N = 637). Linear regression analyses were used to test associations between self-esteem and stereotype awareness, attempt history, and their interaction. Results: There was a significant stereotype awareness by attempt interaction (β = -.74, p = .006) in the regression analysis. The interaction was explained by a stronger negative association between stereotype awareness and self-esteem among individuals with past suicide attempts (β = -.50, p = .013) compared with those without attempts (β = -.09, p = .037). Conclusion: Stigma is associated with lower self-esteem within this high-functioning sample of young adults with histories of suicide attempts. Alleviating the impact of stigma at the individual (clinical) or community (public health) levels may improve self-esteem among this high-risk population, which could potentially influence subsequent suicide risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalCrisis
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Modified labeling theory
  • Self-esteem
  • Stereotype awareness
  • Stigma
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Investigating the relationship between self-esteem and stigma among young adults with history of suicide attempts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this