Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Extant literature has indicated that the experience of defeat confers risk for experiencing conceptions of entrapment, which in turns increases one’s risk of experiencing suicidal ideation. In addition, certain cognitive processes are hypothesized to increase or decrease the likelihood of feelings of entrapment emerging when one feels defeated. One such cognitive process is mindfulness, defined as present moment awareness with an orientation of openness and acceptance. Better understanding the interplay of defeat, entrapment, mindfulness, and suicidal thinking will contribute to intervention strategies aimed at reducing the severity of suicidal thinking; however, said research should be conducted with consideration that one’s suicidal thoughts vary greatly over different temporal scales (e.g., ambulatory assessment). The purpose of this study was to analyze the relations between state defeat, state entrapment, state mindfulness, and state severity of suicidal ideation using ecological momentary assessment over a ten-day data collection period. Participants (N=50) were college students with a history of suicidal thinking. Results indicated that (1) defeat predicted entrapment concurrently but not prospectively, (2) although mindfulness was inversely predictive of entrapment, it did not interact with defeat to predict entrapment, (3) entrapment was significantly predictive of SI severity both concurrently and prospectively. Findings provide partial support for contemporary theories of suicide and highlight the highly dynamic nature of SI severity and related risk factors.



Committee Chair

Raymond Tucker

Available for download on Monday, July 01, 2024