Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Clinical Psychology

Committee Director

Cassie Glenn

Committee Member

Matt Judah

Committee Member

Miguel Padilla


Suicide prevention gatekeeper trainings seek to equip learners with knowledge about suicide, skills to recognize suicide risk and intervene, and awareness of referral resources. Although these trainings are widely used, research is limited on their utility and impact on increasing intent to intervene in a suicide crisis. The current study aimed to evaluate two gatekeeper trainings, SafeTALK and Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), on a college campus using a pre-test/post-test design to examine this gap in the literature and provide evidence to help shape gatekeeper trainings in the future. Because the theory of planned behavior has been demonstrated to be an effective framework for understanding an individual’s intention to intervene with someone at risk of suicide (Aldrich, 2015), the current study has been guided by this framework. Positive increases in attitudes about intervening, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control (PBC), and intention to intervene were found across both trainings. All variables were found to significantly predict intention to intervene in the overall model; however, only change in PBC predicted change in intention to intervene when controlling for other predictors. Training outcomes did not differ by type of training. An exploratory effect was found suggesting that positive attitudes about intervening increased only for participants who knew someone who died by, or attempted, suicide. Future research is needed to better understand gatekeeper training outcomes in larger, more diverse samples, settings (e.g., workplace, school, etc.), types of trainings, and related variables (e.g., exposure to suicide, occupation, gender, etc.).


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