Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Berman, Mitchell E.

Committee Member

Wei, Elaine

Committee Member

DeShong, Hilary

Committee Member

Stafford, Emily

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Applied Psychology (Clinical)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (ITS) has garnered much attention in the literature. Studies that have examined ITS among Black and other racially/ethnically diverse populations continue to be met with inconsistent results. This suggests the need to confirm measurement equivalence across populations to improve accuracy in identifying individuals who are at increased risk for suicide. This study examined measurement invariance of the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ) and Acquired Capability for Suicide Scale (ACSS) across White and Black racial groups using two college student samples. Multigroup confirmatory factor analyses were conducted from Sample 1, a group of 1,019 (86.8% White) students from a midwestern university, and from Sample 2, a group of 1,664 (82.3% White) students from a southern university. The INQ demonstrated configural, metric, and scalar invariance for Sample 1, but did not demonstrate invariance at any measurement level for Sample 2. The ACSS did not meet configural, metric, or scalar invariance in Sample 1 or Sample 2. These results suggest the presence of systematic bias against Black respondents on both the INQ and ACSS. These results also indicate the need for more race-related and culture-specific measures of suicide risk.

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024