Sean M Mitchell

Sean M Mitchell
Texas Tech University | TTU · Department of Psychological Sciences

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

About

54
Publications
13,420
Reads
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496
Citations
Introduction
I am an Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology at Texas Tech University's Department of Psychological Sciences. I completed a postdoctoral fellow in suicide prevention research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. My primary research interests include suicide risk and prevention among high-risk populations. Please visit my website for more detail (www.drseanmmitchell.com).
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - August 2020
Texas Tech University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Teaching experience: General Psychology (undergraduate-level), Personality (undergraduate-level), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (graduate-level), Statistical Methods (undergraduate-level).
August 2018 - August 2019
University of Rochester Medical Center
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide
June 2014 - July 2014
Texas Tech University
Position
  • Instructor
Education
August 2017 - August 2018
Center for Behavioral Medicine
Field of study
  • Forensic Track
August 2012 - August 2018
Texas Tech University
Field of study
  • Psychological Methods and Analysis
August 2012 - August 2018
Texas Tech University
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the validity and screening effectiveness of the PHQ-2 and PHQ-9 scores in 229 college students in a cross-sectional design. PHQ associations with Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 internalizing scales suggest PHQ scores are effective screening tools for college students and may aid in effective triage and service needs.
Presentation
Losing a family member to incarceration can cause grief and distress, but research has not examined public stigma towards this grief. We examined perceptions of crime severity and stigma toward family members of incarcerated persons. Participants (N = 1,158) believed violent crimes were more severe than non-violent crimes, even when both crimes had...
Presentation
Losing a person to incarceration can cause significant disturbance in a person’s life, yet our understanding of public perceptions of family members’ reactions is minimal. We manipulated vignettes to examine perceptions of grief following an individual’s incarceration. Participants (N = 1,158) endorsed resilient reactions as more appropriate than p...
Article
Full-text available
Suicidal ideation is elevated among individuals who engage in BDSM practices and those with sexual and gender minority (SGM) identities. There is limited research on the intersectionality of these identities and how they relate to suicidal ideation, especially within a theoretical framework of suicide risk, such as the interpersonal theory of suici...
Article
Background: Justice-involved individuals are at elevated risk for suicidal behavior; however, research examining risk for suicidal behavior in pretrial jail diversion programs (pretrial diversion) is limited. Aims: We aimed to test (1) associations between depressive symptoms and alcohol and drug use, and suicide attempt history (SAH), and (2) inte...
Article
Although the overrepresentation of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system is known, research is needed to identify the frequency of criminal justice involvement and criminogenic treatment needs in inpatient populations to improve continuity of care and access to appropriate treatments. The purpose of this study is to document the...
Article
Peer victimization (PV) is a serious concern for youth and is associated with subsequent suicide ideation in young adulthood. The interpersonal theory of suicide may provide a framework for understanding suicide ideation in this population. Specifically, thwarted belongingness (TB) and perceived burdensomeness (PB) have been significantly associate...
Article
The recently released 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) classifies posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex PTSD (CPTSD) as distinct, yet related, disorders within the spectrum of trauma and stress-related disorders. This study aimed to explore the construct validity of the International Trauma Questionna...
Article
We aimed to demonstrate the utility of an item-level network analysis approach to suicide risk by testing the interpersonal psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) among 402 psychiatric inpatients. We hypothesized that specific thwarted belongingness (TB) or perceived burdensomeness (PB; Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire items) facets would positive...
Article
Objective Criminal justice involvement, substance use, and suicide pose significant public health concerns; however, the unique and synergistic effects of these experiences among high‐risk individuals remain understudied. We hypothesized positive main effects for alcohol‐related severity, drug‐related severity, current criminal justice involvement,...
Article
Objective: Although causal inference is often straightforward in experimental contexts, few research questions in suicide are amenable to experimental manipulation and randomized control. Instead, suicide prevention specialists must rely on observational data and statistical control of confounding variables to make effective causal inferences. We p...
Article
Objective: Categorical data analysis is relevant to suicide risk and prevention research that focuses on discrete outcomes (e.g., suicide attempt status). Unfortunately, results from these analyses are often misinterpreted and not presented in a clinically tangible manner. We aimed to address these issues and highlight the relevance and utility of...
Article
Purpose This paper mains to bring attention to the potential impact COVID-19 could have on suicide risk among individuals who are incarcerated and those reentering the community after incarceration (i.e. reentry), with particular emphasis on the USA, as well as provide possible solutions to mitigate suicide risk. Design/methodology/approach This p...
Article
Rates of harmful alcohol use are high among justice-involved individuals and may contribute to violent recidivism. Robust treatments for alcohol-related violence in criminal justice systems are thus a public health priority. In this analysis of existing randomized controlled trial data (N = 105), we examined the impact of a brief motivational inter...
Article
This study tested current perceived social support (CPSS) as a moderator of the relation between previous substance use (PSU) and lifetime suicide attempt (SA) history among 200 NGRI inpatients. Results indicated no significant CPSS main effect. PSU was associated with greater odds of multiple prior lifetime SA. Moderation indicated those low in PS...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Research suggests distinct criminal risk factors, not mental illness, are more strongly associated with most criminal behaviors. This notion has been supported among inpatient persons with mental illness (PMI) when examining antisocial cognitions; however, other key criminogenic risk factors (the Big Four and Central Eight risk factors)...
Article
Suicide risk is elevated among college-aged students and individuals exposed to cumulative interpersonal trauma. This study used the interpersonal theory of suicide as a framework to test the relation between cumulative interpersonal trauma and suicide ideation through the indirect effects of cumulative interpersonal trauma via depression, thwarted...
Article
Background: The relation between psychopathic traits and suicide ideation (SI) is frequently discussed but little research has examined potential mechanisms underlying this association. The interpersonal theory of suicide (ITS) proposes two mechanisms in the pathogenesis of suicidal desire: thwarted belongingness (TB) and perceived burdensomeness...
Article
Full-text available
The interpersonal theory of suicide (ITS) has accumulated empirical support; however, less research has investigated the clinical utility of ITS constructs in suicide risk assessment. The current study sought to increase the clinical utility of the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ), an assessment of thwarted belongingness (TB) and perceived b...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mental health care providers commonly encounter suicide ideation and suicidal behaviors among their patients despite a frequent lack of adequate knowledge and competence regarding suicide risk management. Aims: This study examined the associations among self-perceived sufficiency of training, self-efficacy, anxiety, and attitudes relate...
Article
Objective Institutional violence in state hospitals is a public health problem that has been severely understudied. Given the personal (ie, staff and patients) and fiscal harms associated with institutional violence, more research into contributing factors for violence is needed. The overarching aim of this study then was to examine associations am...
Article
Psychiatric inpatients are at elevated risk of suicide, and approximately half are criminal justice-involved. Their involvement with criminal associates may be linked to increased suicide ideation distress; however, this has not been examined. This study tested main effects of, and interactions between, thwarted belongingness (TB) or perceived burd...
Article
Rejection is a direct threat to an individual’s need to belong that has serious consequences for mental health. Rejection sensitivity may explain why some individuals are more likely to perceive rejection in social situations and experience subsequent psychological distress. The current study examined suicide ideation among psychiatric inpatients (...
Article
Suicide risk is elevated among psychiatric inpatients; however, research has not examined moderators of the associations between perceived social support and thwarted belongingness (TB) and perceived burdensomeness (PB), such as involvement with criminal associates. Adult psychiatric inpatients (N = 142) completed assessments. Perceived social supp...
Article
Research suggests that being cyberbullied is associated with increased risk for suicide ideation; however, few studies have examined the underlying mechanisms of this relation, and fewer have examined this relation within a theory of suicide. Specifically, the interpersonal theory of suicide posits that thwarted belongingness (indicated by loneline...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals forensically committed to a state hospital are at an increased risk of suicide; however, there is extremely limited research examining suicide risk estimates and risk factors among inpatients deemed not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI). This study aimed to determine (a) rates of suicidal ideation history, suicide attempt history, and...
Article
Background: Acquired capability for suicide is posited to develop through repeated exposure to physically painful and psychologically provocative events; however, there is limited research evaluating the assessment of painful and provocative events. Aims: The current study examined the factor structure, validity, and reliability of the Painful a...
Article
Previous research suggests a negative association between mindfulness and suicide ideation, yet limited research has examined the specific role of mindfulness on suicide ideation or attempted to link this construct with theory-driven risk factors for suicide among high-risk individuals. The current study examined the mediating role of thwarted inte...
Article
Key practitioner message: The 15-item Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (an assessment of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness) should be incorporated into suicide risk assessment. Among psychiatric inpatients, greater thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, as separate predictors, were associated with increased levels...
Article
Objective: The interpersonal theory of suicide posits the simultaneous presence of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness (i.e., thwarted interpersonal needs) leads to active suicide ideation. According to the psychological flexibility model, psychological inflexibility is in part a product of cognitive fusion (i.e., becoming entangle...
Article
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in psychiatric hospitals with an estimated rate of 100–400 per 100,000 admissions. The current study aimed to examine suicide ideation among psychiatric inpatients utilizing perspectives from the psychological flexibility model (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012) and the interpersonal theory of suicide (J...
Article
Research suggests it is important to consider criminogenic needs among individuals with severe mental illness. This study aimed to determine the severity of criminal thinking in community-based clinical samples, understand the association between criminal thinking and psychiatric and criminal justice outcomes, and compare these associations between...
Article
Suicide in rural areas has not received significant attention in the research literature to this point, although suicide rates are higher among adults and older adults in rural areas than in urban areas. The aims of the study were as follows: (1) establish the feasibility of assessing suicide ideation and history of suicidal behavior; (2) determine...
Article
Background: Approximately 20% of suicide decedents have had contact with a mental health professional within 1 month prior to their death, and the majority of mental health professionals have treated suicidal individuals. Despite limited evidence-based training, mental health professionals make important clinical decisions related to suicide risk...
Article
Negative employer perceptions of job candidates with psychiatric and criminal backgrounds is one factor contributing to high unemployment rates among these groups. The current study replicated and extended Batastini et al., which evaluated stigmatizing beliefs toward hypothetical job applicants who had a known psychiatric and/or criminal history or...
Article
Objective: Bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism (BDSM) practitioners are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. We hypothesized the association between (a) lifetime frequency of BDSM-related sexual behaviors and (b) BDSM identification and suicide attempt status would be mediated by acquired capabilit...
Article
The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) is commonly used to assess criminal thinking (thoughts related to criminal behavior); however, the item wording may not be an appropriate assessment for individuals without a criminal history (laypersons) who still may be at risk of engaging in crime. Therefore, a layperson version of...
Article
Psychiatric inpatients are at heightened risk for suicide, and evidence suggests that psychiatric inpatients with bipolar mood disorders may be at greater risk for suicide ideation compared to those with non-bipolar mood disorders. There is a paucity of research directly comparing risk factors for suicide ideation in bipolar versus non-bipolar mood...
Article
Full-text available
The effectiveness of specialty courts has been well established in the literature; however, previous studies have not taken into account referral biases that may exist based on offenders’ race, socioeconomic status (SES), attorney status, and so forth. The current study hypothesized that (a) Participants who are racially diverse, of lower SES, and...
Article
To date, no study has examined rates of suicide ideation or theory-based risk factors for suicide ideation among bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism (BDSM) practitioners. Participants were 321 adults that endorsed BDSM involvement. Thirty-seven percent of the sample indicated a nonzero level of suicide ideation. Thwa...
Article
This study examined the relationship between video game (VG) play and the acquired capability for suicide (ACS), as well as the moderating effects of VG category and gender on this relationship. Participants were 228 college students who played VGs on a weekly basis and who completed self-report assessments of VG play, painful and provocative event...
Article
Background: The interpersonal theory of suicide has gained empirical support as a conceptualization of suicide risk; however, little research has examined the role of individual traits, such as trait hope, within the interpersonal theory of suicide. Aims: The purpose of this study was to further investigate the role of trait hope components (i.e...
Article
Objectives The interpersonal theory of suicide posits that perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness are risk factors for suicide ideation. To more comprehensively characterize this model, it is important to identify resilience factors. Forgiveness of oneself may attenuate the relation between perceived burdensomeness and suicide ideation...
Article
Objectives Psychiatric inpatients are at elevated risk for suicide, but there are mixed findings regarding cognitive functioning (i.e., executive functioning and problem-solving abilities) and suicide risk in this population. We hypothesized that a mediating variable (i.e., perceived burdensomeness) may explain these mixed findings.Method This hypo...
Article
Full-text available
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and substance use have been associated with increased suicide ideation, but have rarely been examined within a larger theoretical context of suicide risk. The interpersonal theory of suicide posits that feeling disconnected from others (i.e., thwarted belongingness) and feeling like a burden on others (...
Article
Background: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among college students. The interpersonal theory of suicide may provide a way to conceptualize suicide risk in this population. Aims: We sought to examine relations between illegal behaviors that may act as risk factors for suicide and the acquired capability for suicide. Method: College...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
This project includes my statistical collaborations with colleagues specializing in suicide research. Particular areas of interest include risk assessment, prevention, and the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS).