Does belief in a just world moderate the relationship between financial stress and suicide risk in university students?
Yang, E.J. & Shim, E-J.
Despite an established relationship between financial stress and suicide risk, factors that may influence this relationship are unclear. This study examined whether the belief that the world is fair and people generally get what they deserve (i.e., belief in a just world: BJW) moderates the financial stress-suicide risk relationship in university students. A total of 365 university students completed an online survey three times between May 2019 and April 2020. Multilevel model analyses indicated that financial stress increased suicide risk, after controlling for demographic factors and depression. The level of BJW-self and BJW-others moderated the relationship between financial stress and suicide risk. Specifically, the negative impact of financial stress on suicide risk was significant in students with a low or mean level of BJW-self, but not in those with a high level of BJW-self. Financial stress had a significant negative impact at all levels of BJW-others, with a stronger impact on students with lower levels of BJW others. These results suggest a need to address lower BJW, as it may worsen the financial stress-suicide risk relationship.