Are Nonfatal Suicide Attempts Instrumental in Achieving Personal and Interpersonal Goals?

Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute; Internal Medicine (East Africa)


This study focused on the well-being of the survivors of suicide attempts and the well-being of their interpersonal relationships after the attempt. The data came from a sample of 392 college students from 10 Muslim majority countries who reported having attempted suicide in the last 4 years. Suicide was conceptualized as a goal-directed behavior embedded in a sociocultural context and motivated by personal or interpersonal goals. We tested a process that linked culturally shaped self-construal to the postsuicidal personal and interpersonal well-being. We posited that this process would operate through the attitudes towards suicide, motives for suicide, the strength of the intention to die. Our model indicated that the acceptability of suicide was positively associated with escape motives, and this association was even stronger for the individuals with interdependent self-construals. Escape motives were negatively associated with postsuicidal personal and interpersonal well-being, but communication motives were not associated with these outcomes. We also found evidence that having an interdependent self-construal might be beneficial for postsuicidal personal and interpersonal well-being. Our results further suggested that the postsuicidal personal and interpersonal well-being of highly interdependent individuals may depend on the interpretation of their act of suicide by their close others.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Behavior Therapy