Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bekhet, Abir K.

Second Advisor

Garnier-Villarreal, Mauricio

Third Advisor

Frenn, Marilyn


Suicide has been the 2nd leading cause of death for 18-24-year-olds in the US since 2011. The stress experienced by undergraduate college students has the potential to increase ones’ risk for suicide. Resilience theory was used as a theoretical framework to examine the interplay between risk and protective factors. A cross-sectional and correlational design was used to assess the mediating effects of positive thinking and/or social support on suicide resilience in 131 college students 18-24 years old who completed an online survey. An indirect effect of self-esteem on suicide resilience was found through positive thinking and social support indicating that as self-esteem increases, positive thinking and social support also increase, which leads to an increase in resilience. The study also found a direct effect of self-esteem, positive thinking, and social support on suicide resilience. The findings inform the development of tailored interventions to build suicide resilience in college students.