It is estimated that over 100,000 people die by suicide in India every year. Majority of suicides occur among men and among adolescents. Research and epidemiological studies indicate that suicidal behaviors appear particularly problematic among college students and young adults. Since 1980s, researchers have been interested in the relationship among certain personality traits and suicidal ideation, particularly perfectionism. At the core perfectionism is thought of as: "the irrational belief that you and/or your environment must be perfect, while striving to be the best, to reach the ideal, and to never make a mistake". When perfectionists fail to achieve their unreasonable goals, they turn inward and become excessively self-critical and demoralized; consequently, this endless cycle ultimately leads to lower self-esteem, anxiety and depression, which has led many to postulate that these self-defeating thoughts and negative appraisals may lead to suicidal ideation. In order to explore this relationship between perfectionism, self esteem and suicidal ideation, the present study was conducted. A sample of 100 undergraduate students (40 males; 60 females) were taken. They were administered Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Dr. Randy O. Frost, 1990), Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES) (Dr. Morris Rosenberg, 1965) and Adult Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (Dr. William M. Reynolds, 1991). Results revealed significant association among Maladaptive Perfectionism was positively correlated with Suicidal Ideation whereas Self Esteem and Suicidal Ideation were inversely related. Overall findings were in line with the hypothesis formulated.
Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Punjabi University, Patiala
Research Scholar, Psychology Department, Punjabi University, Patiala.