Year: 2013 Source: The Journal of nervous and mental disease.(2012)200(10): 885-90.DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e31826b6ecc SIEC No: 20130031

The strain theory of suicide postulates that psychological strains usually precede mental disorders including suicidal behavior. Lack of coping skills is one of the four strains. This article focuses on the effect of lack of coping skills on individual mental disorders and suicide. Data including 392 suicide cases and 416 community-living controls were from a large psychological autopsy study conducted in rural China. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R were used for the diagnosis of mental disorders. Coping skills were measured by the Coping Response Inventory. The logical analysis and cognitive avoidance coping skills were negatively associated with mental disorders, whereas the taking problem-solving action and acceptance/resignation coping skills were positively associated with mental disorders. This study supports the hypothesis that lack of coping skills to certain strains is likely to lead to mental disorders and suicidal behavior. Improving people’s coping strategies may be an effective way to lower the prevalence of mental disorders and suicide.

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