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Exposure to suicide as a major risk factor for suicidal behaviour in adolescents: Establishing real-time social interactive pathways

Globally, more than 800,000 people die by suicide every year and approximately 115 individuals are exposed to each suicide. Yet we are still unable to adequately predict which of the people who think about suicide will go on to make a suicide attempt. Exposure to suicide attempts of friends is a powerful predictor of whether individuals will attempt suicide themselves, especially in adolescents, but why exposure increases individuals’ own risk of suicide attempt is unknown. Exposure is an inherently social process and given the strong relationship between social factors and suicidal ideation, it raises the question of whether there is a social interactive mechanism underlying the relationship between exposure and suicidal behaviour. To answer this question and potentially generate new targets for suicide prevention, in this research programme I will develop and test a social interactive model of exposure to suicide and suicidal behaviour. I will use innovative Experience Sampling Methods to capture data on social interactions in the everyday lives of adolescents within the general population, young adults with a recent suicide attempt, and individuals with friends who have recently attempted suicide. I will also embed the use of Open Science practices throughout the research programme to increase transparency and replicability and in doing so, establish a new benchmark for research transparency in suicidology

Date:1 Oct 2020  →  Today
Keywords:Suicide, exposure to suicide, social interaction
Disciplines:Behavioural sciences, Clinical and counseling psychology not elsewhere classified, Social and emotional development, Social behaviour and social action