Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)
First Advisor/Committee Member
Amy H. Mezulis
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Keyne C. Law
Third Advisor/Committee Member
Substance use and suicidal ideation are prevalent among adolescents. An adolescent’s school environment, such as threatening or violence-related experiences at school, may influence their perceived sense of safety, thus influencing their substance use and potentially increasing suicidal ideation. The current study examined the mediating roles of perceived school safety and substance use (alcohol use, binge alcohol use, cannabis use, and vaping) on the relationship between experienced weapon threat/violence at school and suicidal ideation. Data was used from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey and participants were 13206 adolescents attending high school in the United States. Preliminary analyses indicated significant positive bivariate correlations between study variables and significant differences between race/ethnicity groups. A double mediation analysis was conducted for each substance use variable to assess the conditional indirect effect of experienced weapon threat/violence at school on suicidal ideation through perceived school safety and substance use, and to assess for the conditional indirect effect of experienced weapon threat/violence at school on suicidal ideation through substance use alone. Each indirect and direct pathway was statistically significant, however with small effect sizes, partially supporting the proposed hypotheses. Results suggest that other construct(s), in addition to the ones examined in this study, may influence the pathway from experienced weapon threat/violence at school to suicidal ideation. Clinical implications, study limitations, and future research directs are discussed.
Skalisky, Jordan, "School Violence and Suicidal Ideation: The Mediating Roles of Perceived School Safety and Substance Use Among Adolescents" (2021). Clinical Psychology Dissertations. 65.