For a study, researchers sought to test that causal hypotheses that represent suicide attempts from the perspective of teenage development could help avoid and intervene in suicide attempts. This study used system dynamics modeling to see if the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, a popular suicide theory, predicts suicide attempts during adolescence. The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, as described by Joiner and Van Orden et al., was used to develop a system dynamics computer simulation model. The National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent and Adult Health provided representative longitudinal data on teenagers in the United States who attempted suicide over 4 waves, used to parameterize this model. The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide, while able to predict exponential growth in suicide attempts in early adolescents, when stated as a dynamic theory, failed to effectively anticipate the nonlinear changes in suicide attempts from adolescence to adulthood. The literature’s potential feedback loops were added to the theory, which was then checked for fit. The study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that suicide dynamics should be investigated to account for nonlinear feedback effects. The findings indicated that the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide is updated to reflect the impact of therapies following a suicide attempt and the dynamic developmental processes that affect suicide behaviors over time during adolescence.

Source:onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jad.12051