Concordia University Texas
PSY 1311C; Fall 2013
Submitted: 10 October 2013
Kevin M. Malone, M.D. and colleagues wrote an article, Protective Factors against Suicidal Acts in Major Depression: Reasons for Living, about a study that was conduct on if patients with major depression had reasons to live than they may detain themselves from attempting suicide. In this experiment the subjects were tested for their current level of major depression; the severity of their depressive state were measured by assessing hopelessness, general psychopathology, and their suicide history (Malone et al, 2000). After running the actual experiment the main results showed that inpatients who attempted suicide were considerably higher in the categories of unhappiness and hopelessness than non-attempters. Also in the result there was no distributions between attempters and non-attempters when it came to educational status, age, gender, or religious preferences (Malone et al, 2000). But when it came to race, non-Caucasians were dramatically less likely to attempt suicide than if the patient was Caucasian (Malone et al, 2000). The main objective of this experiment was to see if inpatients with major depression were more or less likely to attempt suicide if they have more reasons to live for. During this experiment the researchers discovered that their results were compatible with previous studies (Malone et al, 2000). Throughout the study the researchers discovered that reasons for living differed from attempters and non-attempters of suicide. Attempters tested higher in hopelessness and suicidal thoughts than non-attempters (Malone et al, 2000). The subjects who did not try to commit suicide had a greater chance of survival due to the fact they tested higher with reasons to live (Malone et al, 2000). With having a greater chance of survival the non-attempters are less likely to try commit suicide because of their fear of society’s disapproval and their moral belief. They inpatients who did try to commit suicide tested lower on the reasons for living scale than non-attempters. With that this experiment showed the relationship between reasons for living and clinical suicidality (Malone et al, 2000).
After reading and putting thought behind the experiment I believe that the study showed valid results. Although the results are valid there still may be lurking variables that contributed to the results. Firstly, why did the study only included inpatients that were admitted to two psychiatric hospitals? With the subjects being admitted to those mental institutions, they are already at a fragile state of mind. I believe the study should have included outpatients and people who were diagnosed with clinical depression. The sole purpose of that is to eliminate bias. With only testing subjects in an institution it can create stress on the subject because they are out of their comfort zone. By comfort zone I mean that the subjects are in different living environments and having to meet/be around new people to them. As a result the subjects may be more prone to depressive episodes