Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Christina D. Brown, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Elizabeth M. Lane, Ph.D.


Schizophrenia is an exceptionally debilitating mental disorder. Its effects permeate all facets of psychosocial functioning and it is associated with premature mortality. As such, suicide is of clinical concern. Positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions may influence the risk of suicide among individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, but additional research is necessary, as the limited literature on this topic is dated and includes heterogeneous results. Early recognition of and intervention for suicide risk factors, such as the presence of positive symptoms of psychosis, may reduce mortality rates for individuals with schizophrenia. The present literature review examined the role of gender, race and ethnicity, and intelligence quotient (IQ) variables in the association between positive symptoms and suicide, revealing current knowledge gaps and highlighting areas for future research. For mental health clinicians, this work suggests a need for culturally competent care, comprehensive assessment measures, and holistic treatment options to address vulnerabilities and suicide risk factors in this population. Furthermore, in future work, researchers should use larger sample sizes, practical study designs, balanced participant groups, and U.S. participants.