The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory Of Suicide

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Specific Aims
Adolescents is an important context for suicide research, as it is the typical period of onset for suicidal thoughts and behaviors (Gould, Greenburg, Velting, & Shaffer, 2003). Despite the years of research on suicide risk factors, suicide continues to be the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally, with many more who attempt suicide (World Health Organization, 2015). The slow progress of knowledge in this area may be related to the fragmented approach research has taken in attempting to answer the question of what puts an individual at risk for a suicide attempt (Stewart, et al., 2017). Few studies regarding suicide risks are theoretically driven and only paint a partial picture of the suicidal landscape; thus, at risk individuals may be unidentified …show more content…

Several theories have historically sought to explain suicidal behavior, however, most of the theories focus on only one risk factor to the exclusion of other risk factors and have been criticized for their underlying unidimensional nature (Van Orden et al., 2015). There is an urgent need for an organized and comprehensive framework to explore how individual risk factors interact and explain the causal pathway from risk to suicidal behavior (Prinstein, 2008). To address this gap, Joiner (2005) put forth the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS) which offers a framework that has many conceptual and practical merits in understanding the factors that explain different levels of suicidality (i.e. suicidal thoughts and behaviors). While the IPTS has been widely researched and validated among older adults (Forrest & Smith, 2017), it has yet to be tested in adolescents. Additionally, few studies have used direct measures for the IPTS constructs (Stewart et al., 2015). Research is needed to test the reliability of the IPTS constructs among adolescents who

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