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Framing standards of care for STB intervention in young adults within a compounding, psychosocial analysis of stress and protective factors

Steele, Eva (2023) Framing standards of care for STB intervention in young adults within a compounding, psychosocial analysis of stress and protective factors. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Living through a traumatic event is neither a rare nor an isolated experience. Although sources like the American Psychological Association and the National Institute of Mental Health posit that about one half of individuals in United States of America will experience at least one trauma event in their lives, the role of protective factors in long-term outcomes is often shrouded in mystery, and the idea of what ‘counts’ as a traumatic experience, often considerably abstract. Out of a plethora of broad goals to alleviate trauma symptoms in those that experience them, the role of protective and risk factors has been foundational in empirical and therapeutic practice. Despite social stigmatization of both mental health and trauma experience, there is recognition that suicide ranks among the ten leading causes of death in the United States and is the second leading cause of death in youths.
However, the variability that is intrinsic to human diversity can make it more complex to predict suicidal behavior based on life history alone, often preventing early identification and intervention; similarly, little is known regarding how protective and risk factors functionally contribute to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, or other long-term psychological imbalances. Consequently, there is a burgeoning interest into a more holistic investigation of the suicide crisis that acknowledges intersecting social and psychological factors as contributors to suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), better representing the overlapping and compounding factors that comprise a human life.
Through an understanding of theoretical frameworks foundational to social work practice (ie systems theory and ecological theory), protective factors, and integrative data spanning a variety of self-indicated stressors from adolescents with suicidal attempt or ideation history compared to healthy controls in Dr. Nadine Melhem’s PROMISE study, the research attempts to better understand the impact of life events in suicidal behavior to better contribute to more effective prevention, intervention, and continued care for all those who deal with long term effects of trauma.
The primary research goal was to determine the relationship between the independent external variables (specific SLEs and defined protective factors), and the dependent internal variable (STBs); the expectation was that as external risk factors increased, there would be a correlation correlating to higher chance of STB behavior. As such, the proposed stance is that as the severity of internal disturbance in the form of STBs increases from healthy control to attempter, a pattern of increased stressful life events (SLEs) and decreasing protective factors will be observed in a statistically significant manner.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Steele, Evasteeleem@upenn.eduEMS295
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorBetru, Yodityoditbetru@pitt.eduYKB2
Committee ChairMelhem, Nadinenam19@pitt.eduNAM19
Committee ChairRawls, Brookebnr21@pitt.eduBNR21
Committee ChairNorful,
Date: 24 April 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2023
Approval Date: 24 April 2023
Submission Date: 20 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 63
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: psychiatry, clinical practice
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2023 18:58
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2023 18:58


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