Theorizing Suicide: Multiple Perspectives and Implications for Prevention

  • Swati Mukherjee
  • Updesh Kumar


Suicide is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. The array of suicidal behaviours poses a challenge to the researchers not only regarding definitional issues, conceptualization and theorizing, but also about translating the theoretical understanding into effective prevention strategies. Moreover, availability of multiple disciplinary perspectives on causal pathways emphasizing varied domains of risk and protective factors adds on to the complexity of the field of suicidal studies. Present paper is aimed at providing a conceptual overview of the scope and structure of suicide studies from a multidisciplinary perspective. It provides a succinct description of major theoretical perspectives on suicidal behaviour, along with a critique about their usefulness for designing preventive strategies and programmes. In discussing varied disciplinary standpoints and theoretical models emphasizing varied sets of causal and protective factors, it brings out the need to evolve a broader and deeper conceptualization that would provide an overarching framework for basic as well as applied research in suicidal behaviour and its prevention, and allowing for incorporation of various specificities of individual behaviour at the same time acknowledging underlying generalities.


Definitional issues Epidemiology Suicidal behaviour Prevention Theoretical perspectives 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO)Ministry of DefenceNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Mental Health Division, Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR), Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO)Ministry of DefenceNew DelhiIndia

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