The internal suicide debate hypothesis: Exploring the life versus death struggle

Harris, Keith M., McLean, John P., Sheffield, Jeanie and Jobes, David (2010) The internal suicide debate hypothesis: Exploring the life versus death struggle. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 40 2: 181-192. doi:10.1521/suli.2010.40.2.181

Author Harris, Keith M.
McLean, John P.
Sheffield, Jeanie
Jobes, David
Title The internal suicide debate hypothesis: Exploring the life versus death struggle
Journal name Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0363-0234
Publication date 2010-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1521/suli.2010.40.2.181
Open Access Status
Volume 40
Issue 2
Start page 181
End page 192
Total pages 12
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Researchers and theorists (e.g., Shneidman, Stengel, Kovacs, and Beck) hyothesized that suicidal people engage in an internal debate, or struggle, over whether to live or die, but few studies have tested its tenability. This study introduces direct assessment of a suicidal debate, revealing new aspects of suicidal ideation. Results, from an online survey (N = 1,016), showed nearly all suicide-risk respondents engaged in the debate. In addition, debate frequency accounted for 54% of the variance in suicidality scores, and showed significant associations with other indicators of suicide risk. Likely factors of the debate, reasons for living and dying, showed significant differences by suicidality, and most suicide-risk participants reported going online for such purposes, demonstrating a behavioral component of the debate. © 2010 The American Association of Suicidology. © 2010 The American Association of Suicidology.
Keyword Psychiatric outpatients
Protective factors
Living inventory
Older adults
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 09 May 2010, 00:00:41 EST