Entrapment and suicidal ideation: the protective roles of presence of life meaning and reasons for living

Emma Moscardini, Nicolas Oakey-Frost, Anthony Robinson, Jeffrey Powers, Alix Aboussouan, Susan Rasmussen, Robert Cramer, Raymond Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: The integrated motivational-volitional model of suicide proposes that feelings of entrapment play a key role in the development of suicidal ideation. The model also posits a set of motivational moderators which either facilitate or hinder the development of suicidal thinking when entrapment is present. These motivational moderators include factors such as attitudes, future goals, thwarted belongingness, and social support. Two previously studied protective factors against suicide, reasons for living and life meaning, have received support in suicidology and might serve as motivational moderators in this model.

Methods: The current cross-sectional study included college students (N=195) oversampled for recent suicidal ideation who took a series of self-report questionnaires online.

Results: Our findings demonstrated that both reasons for living and life meaning are protective against the relation between entrapment and suicidal ideation, especially when presence of life meaning and reasons for living of high. Search for life meaning was found demonstrated a less protective relation with SI severity, particularly when reasons for living were low.

Conclusion: Both motivational moderators demonstrated protective relationships with suicidal ideation and may be relevant to suicide prevention strategies. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number1
Early online date17 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


  • positive psychology
  • protective factors
  • risk
  • suicide


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