Despite evidence that violent daydreaming is a correlate of suicidal ideation, no research has examined the mechanisms underlying this association. The interpersonal theory of suicide may provide insight. This theory postulates that individuals with high suicidal desire experience intractable feelings of perceived burdensomeness (PB) and thwarted belongingness (TB). Violent daydreaming may fuel negative attitudes toward others and oneself and turn attention away from loved ones, thereby increasing feelings that one is a burden on others (PB) and socially disconnected (TB). However, no studies have tested TB and PB as explanatory mechanisms. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between violent daydreaming, PB, TB, suicidal ideation, and depression in two samples (n=818).
Study 1 was comprised of general undergraduates, and Study 2 selected for undergraduates with a history of ideation. Self-report measures were administered and indirect effects analyses were conducted.
In both studies, violent daydreaming was associated with increased feelings of PB, TB, and ideation severity. Consistent with the interpersonal theory, TB and PB were significant parallel mediators of the relationship between violent daydreaming and suicidal ideation, beyond sex and age. In contrast to Study 1, results were no longer significant in Study 2 after accounting for depression.