Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Ki Eun (Kay) Shin, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Hilary Vidair, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Eva Feindler, Ph.D


Although most clinical psychology doctoral trainees encounter at least one suicidal client over the course of their training (Dexter-Mazza & Freeman, 2003), there is notable variability in the degree of formal suicide risk assessment and intervention training offered across clinical psychology doctoral programs (Monahan & Karver, 2021). Most suicide-related training involves passive (e.g., lectures) rather than active (e.g., role-plays, experiential exercises) training techniques, despite evidence for the effectiveness of the latter in improving clinicians’ skills (Gryglewicz et al., 2020). The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a manualized, evidence-based training incorporating didactics and role-plays (LivingWorks, 2013; Rodgers, 2010). The current study used quasi-experimental trial data—including two groups matched on key characteristics—to examine the impact of ASIST on different facets of suicide-related competence (perceived competence, knowledge, and intervention skills) and attitudes toward suicide among clinical psychology doctoral trainees. Quasi-experimental group and nonequivalent-control group participants completed self-report measures on suicide-related competence and attitudes toward suicide at pre-training, post-training, and 3-month follow-up. Results showed greater increases in suicide-related competence from pre- to post-training for trainees who completed ASIST compared to trainees who did not. This group difference was maintained when examining changes from pre-training to 3-month follow-up. Conversely, ASIST did not appear to facilitate significant changes in attitudes toward suicide over time. Findings from this study inform the utility of incorporating manualized suicide risk assessment and intervention training programs in clinical psychology doctoral training curricula.