Previous studies have investigated the relationships between psychache or meaning in life and suicidal ideation based on sum score of corresponding scale. However, this practice has hampered the fine-grained understanding of their relationships. This network analysis study aimed to conduct a dimension-level analysis of these constructs and the relationships among them in a joint framework, and identify potential intervention targets to address suicidal ideation.
Suicidal ideation, psychache, and meaning in life were measured using self-rating scales among 738 adults. A network of suicidal ideation, psychache, and meaning in life was constructed to investigate the connections between dimensions and calculate the expected influence and bridge expected influence of each node.
“Psychache” was positively linked to “sleep” and “despair”, while “presence of meaning in life” had negative associations with “psychache”, “despair”, and “pessimism”. The most important central nodes were “sleep” and “despair”, and the critical bridge nodes were “presence of meaning in life” and “psychache”.
These preliminary findings uncover the pathological pathways underlying the relationships between psychache, meaning in life, and suicidal ideation. The central nodes and bridge nodes identified may be potential targets for effectively preventing and intervening against the development and maintenance of suicidal ideation.