Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Elwin C. Nielsen


Elwin C. Nielsen


Walter R. Borg


E. Wayne Wright


Michael R. Bertoch


The purpose of this study was to see how suicidal individuals in therapy as compared to nonsuicidal individuals in therapy characteristically report their relations to other people in interpersonal interactions.

One hundred and nineteen individuals were referred to the study by his or her psychotherapist associated with the participating mental health centers in the Salt Lake City and Logan, Utah, vicinities. The following measures were administered to all individuals: the FIRO-B, Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior, two scales, Sociability and Tolerance, from the CPI, California Psychological Inventory, and a brief biographical questionnaire composed of age, sex, marital status, education, religion, and time in therapy.

A two-way analysis of variance with factors of suicide and marital status and a three-way analysis of variance with factors of suicide, sex, and religion were used to test the eight hypotheses. An additional test, the Scheffe', was also utilized on the data of hypothesis 3 when ANOVA indicated significant differences among the religious group means. The six scales of interpersonal needs as obtained from the FIRO-B and the two CPI scales were correlated '\\ith age, highest education attained, and length of time in therapy using the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation.

It was found that no significant differences exist for suicidal and nonsuicidal individuals with respect to expressed inclusion, wanted inclusion, expressed control, and wanted control, irregardless of sex and marital status. However, a significant difference at the .05% level of confidence was evident for religious affiliation regarding wanted control.

Two scales, wanted affection and sociability, showed differences between suicidal and nonsuicidal individuals at the .05% level and one more scale, tolerance, showed differences at the .01 % level. These differences favored less social involvement, a lower tolerance level with others, and a greater need for affection from others for suicidal individuals as compared to nonsuicidal individuals.

Two interaction effects significant at the .05% level and the .01% level between suicide and sex were evident with respect to expressed affection and warted affection. With regard to expressed affection, the results indicated that suicidal males express more affection than suicidal females while nonsuicidal males express less affection than nonsuicidal females. In addition, with reference to wanted affection, suicidal individuals want affection more that nonsuicidal individuals and females want affection more than males. However, suicidal males wanted affection more than suicidal females, while nonsuicidal females wanted affection more than nonsuicidal males.

In examining the Pearson Product-Moment coefficients, no correlations surpassed . 54; however, a slight correlation was apparent within the FIRO-B scales and the CPI scale, Sociability. Little or no relationships were evident for age, education, time in therapy, and the CPI scale, Tolerance.

Thus, the results indicated some differences among suicidal and nonsuicidal individuals in therapy with respect to interpersonal need areas. These findings suggest and lend support to a relationship between self - destruction and social and personal needs.



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