A qualitative exploration the experiences and perceptions of interpersonal relationships prior to attempting suicide in young adults

McClelland, H., Evans, J. J. and O'Connor, R. (2022) A qualitative exploration the experiences and perceptions of interpersonal relationships prior to attempting suicide in young adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(13), 7880. (doi: 10.3390/ijerph19137880) (PMID:35805538) (PMCID:PMC9266001)

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Abstract

Suicide is a leading public health concern. Research studies have identified significant associations between loneliness and suicidal ideation/behaviour both cross-sectionally and prospectively. Despite this, research specifically focusing on identifying the nature of loneliness experienced prior to suicide, and the role it has in association with other preceding factors, has not been fully explored. The current study recruited ten participants with a history of suicide attempts (five female, four male and one non-binary; mean age: 22.5, range: 20–25 years) to take part in one-to-one, semi-structured interviews via remote video conferencing to explore experiences of social support and loneliness prior to suicide attempt. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, several aspects of loneliness emerged as important themes that were present prior to participants’ suicide attempts. Additional themes identified were patterns of social support, personality traits, emotional secrecy and social transition. Evidence suggests that a positive relationship with parents, knowing someone with similar experiences or having membership in more than one friendship group may reduce feelings of loneliness and/or intentions to die. This research makes an important contribution to understanding the role of loneliness in relation to suicide attempts by highlighting the importance of social supports being emotionally available to those experiencing distress.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:O'Connor, Professor Rory and Mcclelland, Miss Heather and Evans, Professor Jonathan
Authors: McClelland, H., Evans, J. J., and O'Connor, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:1661-7827
ISSN (Online):1660-4601
Published Online:27 June 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 by the authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(13):7880
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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