Prediction of Suicidal Ideations Based on Meaning in Life and Early Maladaptive Schemas among University Students

Mitra Borji, Elahe Farshadnia, Zahra Khorami, Shahrbanoo Ghahari



Background and Objective: Suicide is one of the social harms and it is essential to identify risk and protective factors in order to prevent and reduce suicide. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictive role of meaning in life and early maladaptive schemas in suicidal ideation among university students.

Materials and Methods: This descriptive-analytical study was conducted with participation of 240 university students from different majors in Iran University of Medical Sciences. Participants were selected by using a multi-stage cluster sampling method. To collect data, Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSSI), Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) and the short form of Yang's early maladaptive schemas questionnaire (YSQ-SF) were employed. Data were analyzed in SPSS-23 Software using Pearson correlation coefficient and regression analysis.

Results: The early maladaptive schemas, with a mean (SD) score of 173.77 (51.8), negatively and the meaning in life, with a mean (SD) score of 52.97 (11), positively correlated with suicidal ideations, with a mean (SD) score of 3.43 (5.7), P<0/05. Meaning in life, vulnerability to harm and social isolation/alienation significantly could predict suicidal ideations, P<0.01. Thus, the more meaning in life the less the probability of suicidal ideations. In addition, the probability of suicidal ideations increases with increasing vulnerability to harm and social isolation.

Conclusion: The study showed that presence of meaning in life lead to a decrease in suicidal ideations, while early maladaptive schemas lead to an increase in suicidal ideations. Therefore, meaning in life is a protective factor and early maladaptive schemas are a risk factor for suicide ideations among university students.




Suicidal ideation, Early maladaptive schemas, Meaning in life

Full Text:




Mohammadinia N, Rezaei M, Sameizadehtoosi T, Darban F. Assessing suicidal ideation frequency in medical students. Quarterly Jouranl of. 2012;1(1):83-91. (Full Text in Persian)

Nosratabadi M, Halvaiepour Z. Explaining Suicide Ideation Based on Drug Abuse and Depression in Soldiers of Aja University of Medical Science. Journal of Military Medicine. 2016;17(4):249-55. (Full Text in Persian)

Modabber R, Ebrahimi H, Kazemi A, Fallahi Khoshknab M. Relationship between suicidal ideations and psychosocial characteristics in depressed patients. Iranian Journal of Psychiatric Nursing. 2014;2(2):1-12. (Full Text in Persian)

Flink N, Lehto S, Koivumaa-Honkanen H, Viinamäki H, Ruusunen A, Valkonen-Korhonen M, et al. Early maladaptive schemas and suicidal ideation in depressed patients. The European Journal of Psychiatry. 2017;31(3):87-92.

Kang K-A, Kim S-J, Kim Ellis H. Suicide risk, meaning in life, and need for life respect in adults and elderly among public hospital outpatients in South Korea: a cross-sectional survey. J Community Health Nurs. 2017;34(1):46-61.

Daliri S, Bazyar J, Sayehmiri K, Delpisheh A, Sayehmiri F. The incidence rates of suicide attempts and successful suicides in seven climatic conditions in Iran from 2001 to 2014: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Scientific Journal of Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences. 2017;21(6):1-15.

Boroumand A, Asghari MMA, SHaeeri MR, Mesgarian F. CHronic Pain, Pain Self-efficacy and suicidal uicidal ideation: The moderating rol of pain self-efficacy on relation between depression and suicidal ideation in chronic pain patients. Journal of Fundamentals of Mental Health. 2012;14(2):152-63. (Full Text in Persian)

Pérez Rodríguez S, Marco Salvador JH, García-Alandete J. The role of hopelessness and meaning in life in a clinical sample with non-suicidal self-injury and suicide attempts. Psicothema. 2017;29(3):323-328.

Marco JH, Garcia-Alandete J, Pérez S, Guillen V, Jorquera M, Espallargas P, et al. Meaning in life and non-suicidal self-injury: A follow-up study with participants with Borderline Personality Disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2015;230(2):561-6.

Aviad-Wilchek Y, Ne’eman-Haviv V. The relation between a sense of meaning in life and suicide potential among disadvantaged adolescent girls. Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2018;62(6):1474-87.

Kleiman EM, Beaver JK. A meaningful life is worth living: Meaning in life as a suicide resiliency factor. Psychiatry Res. 2013;210(3):934-9.

Wilchek-Aviad Y. Meaning in life and suicidal tendency among immigrant (Ethiopian) youth and native-born Israeli youth. J Immigr Minor Health. 2015;17(4):1041-8.

Heisel MJ, Neufeld E, Flett GL. Reasons for living, meaning in life, and suicide ideation: investigating the roles of key positive psychological factors in reducing suicide risk in community-residing older adults. Aging Ment Health. 2016;20(2):195-207.

Aviad-Wilchek Y, Ne’eman-Haviv V, Malka M. Connection between suicidal ideation, life meaning, and leisure time activities. Deviant behavior. 2017;38(6):621-32.

Mobed F, Naderi F. Relationship between early maladaptive schemas, flexibility of action with suicide ideation among patients with mood disorders of Ahvaz city. International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies (IJHCS). 2016;1(1):1223-40. (Full Text in Persian)

Dale R, Power K, Kane S, Stewart AM, Murray L. The role of parental bonding and early maladaptive schemas in the risk of suicidal behavior repetition. Arch Suicide Res. 2010;14(4):311-28.

Kikhavani S, Chatripor F, Seidkhaninahal A. Comparison Between Suicidal Thoughts and Depression Among the Suicide Committed and Healthy Individuals Among Ilam Province People Between 2011 and 2012. Scientific Journal of Ilam University of Medical Sciences. 2012;21(1):47-53.

Langhinrichsen-Rohling J, Thompson K, Selwyn C, Finnegan H, Misra T. Maladaptive schemas mediate poor parental attachment and suicidality in college students. Death studies. 2017 Jul 3;41(6):337-44.

Beck AT, Steer RA, Ranieri WF. Scale for suicide ideation: Psychometric properties of a self-report version. Journal of clinical psychology. 1988 Jul;44(4):499-505.

Steger MF, Frazier P, Oishi S, Kaler M. The meaning in life questionnaire: Assessing the presence of and search for meaning in life. Journal of counseling psychology. 2006 Jan;53(1):80.

Welburn K, Coristine M, Dagg P, Pontefract A, Jordan S. The Schema Questionnaire—Short Form: Factor analysis and relationship between schemas and symptoms. Cognitive Therapy and Research. 2002;26(4):519-30

.Khosravani V, Bastan FS, Ardestani MS, Ardakani RJ. Early maladaptive schemas and suicidal risk in an Iranian sample of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2017;255:441-8. (Full Text in Persian)

Kahler CW, Spillane NS, Day A, Clerkin EM, Parks A. The Journal of Positive Psychology:: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice. Journal of Positive Psychology. 2014;9(1):19-29.

García-Alandete J, Salvador M, José H, Pérez Rodríguez S. Predicting Role of the Meaning in Life on Depression, Hopelessness, and Suicide Risk among Borderline Personality Disorder Patients. Universitas Psychologica. 2014;13(4):1545-55.

Della Méa, Cristina Pilla, Zancanella, Sabrina, Thomé Ferreira, Vinícius Renato, Wagner, Márcia Fortes. Early maladaptive schemas in hospitalized patients for suicide attempt. Revista Brasileira de Terapias Cognitivas. 2015;11(1): 3-9.

Rezaei, M, Gholamrezaei, S, Sephvandi, MA, Ghazanfari, F, Deirkvand, F. The potency of early maladaptive schemas and personality dimensions in prediction of depression. Journal of Thought & Behavior in Clinical Psychology. 2013; 8 (29):77-86

Poursharifi H, Habibi M, Zarani F, Ashouri A, Hefazi M, Hajebi A, Bolhari J. The Role of Depression, Stress, Happiness and Social Support in dentifying Suicidal Thoughts in Students. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. 2012 Aug 15;18(2):99-107.

Hart, E.E., Williams, C.L. & Davidson, J.A. Suicidal behavior, social networks and psychiatric diagnosis. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.1988; 23(4), 222-228.

Fakhari A, Rostami M, Hashemi T, Vahid Haji Agaie Nia B. Relationship of family features, coping styles and stressor life events with suicide attempt. J Res Behave Sci 2014; 12(2): 155-164


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.