Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Barbara A. Golden, Psy.D., ABPP

Third Advisor

Lance Couturier, Ph.D.


Suicide is a well-documented problem, ranking high in causes of death in the US and internationally. National and international programs have been designed to address the problem, as well as approaches targeting prison populations. Within these programs, knowledge of local risk factors is viewed as essential in identifying potential suicide completers. The current study expands existing knowledge of these risk factors in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections by a) collecting descriptive data of completers and b) conducting a retrospective case control study. The descriptive data is utilized to create a profile of typical suicide completers in the PA DOC. The case control study is useful in distinguishing characteristics associated uniquely with completers and attempter relative to controls. The case control summary is also useful in identifying characteristics that distinguish suicide attempters and suicide completers from each other. Finally, a screening instrument is developed based on findings.