Cognitive Evaluations of Suicidal Women: Implications for Therapeutic Recreation Intervention


  • Marjorie J Malkin


Cognitive States, Suicidal Women, Leisure, Depression.


The purpose of this investigation was to test selected aspects of Neuringer and Lettieri's 1982 analysis of the cognitive patterns of suicidal women. Neuringer and Lettieri's procedures were extended to an evaluation ofthe concepts of "leisure" and "women," in addition to "life,'" "death" and "suicide." Three research groups of adult female inpatients evidencing psychiatric disability were formed based upon physician's rating: a seriously suicidal group (n = 14); a moderately suicidal group (n = 9); and a group of depressed but nonsuicidal women (n = 11). Demographic data were collected, and a semantic differential exercise was administered. Analysis of variance was used for evaluation of divergent thinking and for attitudinal measures. A distance cluster analysis of semantic space was performed to measure dichotomous thinking. Results indicated significant differences in evaluation and activity of the concept of "life," evaluation of "suicide," and in terms of activity and potency of "women." A nonsignificant trend differentiating evaluation of "leisure" was noted. No significant results were found for dichotomous or divergent thinking. Clinical implications are discussed for therapeutic recreation intervention. Cognitive therapy techniques and related approaches are recommended for stress management, leisure counseling, and leisure education programs for women who are depressed and suicidal.





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