Year: 2016 Source: Crisis.(2016).37(1):51-58. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000353 SIEC No: 20160275

BACKGROUND: Victims of dating violence experience suicidal ideation at a higher rate than the general population. However, very few studies have examined the relationship between dating violence and suicidal ideation within an empirically supported theory of suicide. The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide posits that thwarted interpersonal needs (i.e., thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness) are proximal antecedents to suicidal ideation. The experience of dating violence may thwart such interpersonal needs, thus increasing risk for suicidal ideation. AIMS: We aimed to examine the relationships among dating violence, thwarted interpersonal needs, and suicidal ideation and test the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide. METHOD: We conducted two cross-sectional studies on college students in dating relationships to examine these research questions. RESULTS: Study 1 indicated positive correlations among dating violence (i.e., physical and psychological), thwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness. Study 2 generally replicated the bivariate relationships of Study 1 and demonstrated that, at high levels of thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness was correlated with suicidal ideation, while accounting for the effects of depressive symptoms and drug use. CONCLUSION: These results highlight the importance of using theory-guided research to understand the relationship between dating violence and suicidal ideation. KEYWORDS: dating violence; interpersonal theory; intimate partner violence; partner abuse; perceived burdensomeness; physical assault; psychological aggression; suicidal ideation; thwarted belongingness

Contact us for a copy of this article, or view online at