Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Marc Karver, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jack Darkes, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Bosson, Ph.D.


LGBTQ, psychological pain, social connectedness, suicidal ideation


Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) are at a higher risk for suicide compared to the general population, but little is known about why this is. Many LGBTQ individuals face some form of discrimination or victimization in their lifetime, and some evidence suggests these experiences may contribute to this group’s higher suicide risk. Unfortunately, research has only examined the impact of direct discrimination/victimization on suicidality and has neglected to examine how ambient discrimination/victimization relates to suicidality. Additionally, although some links exist between discrimination, victimization, and suicide, the mechanisms by which these are related are unknown. This study aims to address these gaps in the literature by exploring the effect of ambient discrimination/victimization on suicidal ideation and examining psychological pain as a mediator and social connectedness as a moderator between various forms of discrimination and victimization and suicidal ideation. Regression, mediation, and moderation analyses were conducted in order to examine these relationships in a sample of 200 LGBTQ-identified individuals. Results of this study may provide insight into why the LGBTQ community is at an increased risk for suicide.