Year: 2023 Source: BMC Psychology. (2023). 11, 80. SIEC No: 20230781
Background In recent years, the issue of suicide caused by the stress of a contradictory relationship between graduate students and academic supervisors has aroused heated discussion in society. Based on the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide, this study aims to examine the influence of the perceived abusive supervision on graduate students’ suicidal ideation and the parallel mediating roles of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional online survey measuring perceived abusive supervision, interpersonal psychological needs and suicidal ideation among 232 Chinese graduate students. A structural equation model was constructed to test the hypothesis. Results The results showed that abusive supervision directly exacerbated suicidal ideation (β = 0.160, 95% CI = [0.038, 0.281], p = 0.009) and indirectly influenced suicidal ideation through thwarted belongingness (β = 0.059, 95% CI = [0.008, 0.110], p = 0.019) and perceived burdensomeness (β = 0.102, 95% CI = [0.013, 0.191], p = 0.018). The indirect effect accounted for 50.15% of the overall effect. Conclusions These findings enrich our understanding of the influence of supervisor–student relationship by integrating the literatures on educational and organizational behaviour, and provide practical insights for psychosocial interventions from the perspective of the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide.