Is shyness related to depression and suicide risk?

Gabriel Nudelman, Hadas S. Carmeli, Sami Hamdan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Suicidal behavior is an important health issue, representing a leading cause of mortality, particularly among young adults. Depression was found to be predictive of suicide risk and predicted by shyness. Consequently, we tested a model wherein shyness leads to depression, which in turn leads to suicide risk. Moreover, we expected gender to moderate the effect of shyness on depression and suicide risk. Methods: A convenience sample of 478 first-year college students (51% women, Age: M = 25.42, SD = 3.61) completed online self-report questionnaires assessing suicide risk, depression, shyness, and demographic variables. Results: As expected, shyness was significantly correlated with depression (r = 0.40) and suicide risk (r = 0.24), and depression and suicide risk were also correlated with each other (r = 0.57). Depression statistically mediated the relationship between shyness and suicide risk (indirect effect for women = 0.92, SE = 0.16; for men = 0.72, SE = 0.17). Gender did not moderate the mediation effect. However, a direct link between shyness and suicide risk was found only among men (direct effect = 0.52, SE = 0.21). Conclusions: The results suggest that shyness may be a significant factor in the development of depression and suicide risk, potentially serving as a valuable marker for identifying at-risk individuals. Moreover, clinicians should be aware of these associations, particularly among men, in order to maintain and support mental health as well as reduce suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Early online date7 Jun 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • depression
  • gender
  • norms
  • personality
  • Shyness
  • suicide risk


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