An Examination of Social Comparison and Suicide Ideation Through the Lens of the Integrated Motivational–Volitional Model of Suicidal Behavior

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Abstract

We aimed to investigate whether negative social comparisons are associated with key components of the integrated motivational-volitional (IMV) model of suicidal behavior. Specifically, we investigated the relationship between negative social comparisons, suicide ideation, defeat, entrapment, socially prescribed perfectionism, and resilience. Adult participants (N = 422) completed an online survey comprised of a range of psychological measures. An initial regression analysis indicated that negative social comparisons were associated with suicide ideation. Three mediation models were tested based on the IMV model, all controlling for depressive symptoms. In the first, social comparison partially mediated the relationship between socially prescribed perfectionism and defeat. In the second, defeat mediated the relationship between negative social comparisons and entrapment, and resilience moderated the relationship when defeat was high. In the final model, entrapment mediated the relationship between defeat and suicide ideation, with resilience moderating this relationship when entrapment was high. These findings are novel and lend support to the IMV model. The clinical implications include highlighting the importance of targeting resilience given its potential association with defeat and entrapment.

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