Purdue University Graduate School
Daniel Mikkelsen Thesis_Final_PostDefense.pdf (639.82 kB)

Finding a Path to Disclosure: How Suicide Attempt Survivors Describe Their Decision to Disclose

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posted on 2019-08-15, 12:58 authored by Daniel G MikkelsenDaniel G Mikkelsen
This study examines how suicide attempt survivors (SASs) decide whether or not to disclose their suicide attempt to close others. The investigation is framed using the revelation risk model (RRM) of disclosure (Afifi & Steuber, 2009) with particular focus on the risk assessment and willingness to disclose components of the model. Additionally, the investigation considers the concept of stigma in an effort to expand how stigma is relevant within the decision to disclose about prior suicide attempts. The sample includes 10 participants recruited from the Live Through This project, a project dedicated to collecting and sharing stories online from suicide attempt survivors. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Data analysis showed that suicide attempt survivor disclosure generally follows the framework of the RRM. Notably, stigma was shown to be a major factor in the secret valence and risk assessment stages of the model. Additionally, the disclosure decision-making process was found to change over time.


Degree Type

  • Master of Arts


  • Communication

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Maria Venetis

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Evan Perrault

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Jake Burdick