Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

Matthew T. Feldner

Committee Member

Ana Bridges

Second Committee Member

Nathan Parks

Third Committee Member

Ellen W. Leen-Feldner

Keywords

Psychology; Adolescent; Girls; Imagery; Positive; Risk; Suicidal

Abstract

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents, with risk for suicidal thoughts and suicidal behavior emerging during adolescence particularly among girls. Consistent with theory and empirical evidence, the current study examined the effects of Socially-focused positive imagery training among a small sample of adolescent girls evidencing suicidal thoughts. This preliminary small n design also allowed for a detailed assessment of acceptability of imagery training for the adolescent sample. Risk for suicidal intent was indexed by 1) negative affect, 2) positive affect, 3) greater resting right (relative to left) prefrontal asymmetry, 4) perceived Social isolation, and 5) suicidal ideation. Although the training was generally perceived as acceptable, results suggested minimal to no changes in the primary outcome variables between baseline and intervention phases. Indeed, no clear pattern regarding intervention effects was observed. Findings are discussed in terms of the strengths and challenges of this small n study as a first step for better understanding and offsetting adolescent risk for suicidal intent.

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