Perfectionism Moderates the Relationship between Thwarted Belongingness and Perceived Burdensomeness and Suicide Ideation in Adolescents

  • Eliane Sommerfeld
  • Shahar Malek
Original Paper


According to the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, suicide ideation is associated with thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness. According to the Perfectionism Social Disconnection Model, excessive perfectionism is also considered to be a risk factor for depression and suicide. In the present study, the role of perfectionism as a moderator in the association between interpersonal distress (i.e., perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, low connectedness to parents and friends) and suicide ideation was examined in a nonclinical sample of adolescents. One-hundred and three adolescents were assessed through self-report instruments. Perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness and disconnectedness to parents and friends were found to correlate with suicide ideation. As predicted, perfectionism was found to moderate the relation between these interpersonal distress variables and suicide ideation. Perfectionism augments the association between interpersonal distress and suicide ideation among adolescents. Interventions should consider that adolescents who face interpersonal challenges are particularly at risk if they tend to be highly perfectionist.


Perfectionism Suicide ideation Interpersonal theory of suicide Adolescence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Eliane Sommerfeld declares that she has no conflict of interest. Shahar Malek declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants (adolescents and parents) included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyAriel UniversityArielIsrael

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