The Correlation of Self-Esteem and Suicide

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Assignment topic 1:
The correlation of self-esteem and suicide

The text book debates the merits of high self-esteem, noting that high self-esteem is not always good. Carry out research on one potential correlate with self-esteem. Answer the following questions : Why might the 2 factors be connected? What does research on this connection show? Propose how the relationahip could be further studied.

Suicide, the act deliberate taking of one 's life, disturbs and threatens human society. At least a million people are estimated to die annually from suicide worldwide (Wasserman, Qi & Jiang, 2005) and what is of greater concern is that suicide rates among the young have increased dramatically in the past three decades
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A negative relationship was found between the level of suicide behaviour and self-esteem.
Also, the vulnerability stress model which links self-esteem to suicide was put to test in a longitudinal study of 63 women who were having chronically poor self-esteem and experienced prolonged sexual and emotional or physical abuse as a child in Southern Alberta in 1987 (Bagley & Ramsay, 1997, p.149). Forty of the 63 participated in the therapy group designed to increase self-esteem, coping skills and social support. A follow-up study found that the women who joined these groups had maintained most of the gains they made in self-esteem, had a reduction of depression and an absence of suicidal ideas and behaviour. In contrast, the 23 women who did not receive therapy remained depressed and suicidal, and one woman in this category had actually committed suicide. Through this study, the correlation between low self-esteem and suicidal behaviour were confirmed.
The ultimate aim of research in correlational studies of self-esteem and suicidal behaviour is to understand, predict and prevent suicidal behaviour. The relationship between self-esteem and suicidal behaviour could be further studied to allow more effective preventive interventions to be put in place. At present, effective psychotherapy treatments for suicidal cases not provide self-esteem
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