Kelly Cukrowicz, Ph.D., Texas Tech University
Young Investigator Grant (2008): $72,250
Mentor: David Rudd, M.D., University of Utah
Interpersonal Vulnerability in Older Caucasian Males: An Examination of the Role of Perceived Burdensomeness
Abstract: Although older Caucasian males have among the highest risk of death by suicide of any age, gender or ethnic group in the United States, relatively little is known about the specific interpersonal factors that convey risk in this population. This study will seek to illuminate interpersonal vulnerability in older white men by examining the interrelationships among the perception of oneself as a burden to others, functional impairment, depressive symptoms, hopelessness, social isolation and suicidal ideation. The investigators will collect data on these factors from 150 older men and women over the age of 65 using self-report questionnaires and interviews. They expect that gender will significantly moderate the relationship between perceived burdensomeness and suicidal ideation, leading to the development of gender-specific suicide prevention interventions for the elderly.