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Chapter 9

PSY 802 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Victims Family, Psy, Impulsivity

Course Code
PSY 802
Alba Agostino

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PSY 802 – Class Notes - ChapterSuicide
Lecture Topics
1. Attitudes Towards Suicide
2. The Definition of Suicide
3. The Demographics of Suicide
4. The Effects of Music on Suicide
5. Risk Factors For Suicide
6. Models of Suicide
7. Suicide Among Children and Adolescents
8. Suicide Among Senior Adults
9. Suicide Among Native Peoples
10. Suicide Prevention
Attitudes Towards Suicide
Research data indicates a general negative view about suicide
Domino and Leenaars (1995) in a survey of 196 urban Canadian adults found that
o63% of Canadians surveyed felt that suicide is a serious moral
o52% believed that almost everyone has thought about suicide at one time
or another and 49% felt that anyone is a potential suicide victim
o81% do not believe that suicide is normal behaviour
80% do not think that suicide is sometimes the only answer to a problem, but only
51% disagreed with the statement “there may be situations where the only reasonable
solution is suicide”
77% believed that it is acceptable to intervene in someone’s decision to take his or her
own life
31% agreed with the idea that suicide is acceptable when a person has an incurable
illness, with 33% disagreeing and 36% undecided
83% believed that suicide is a cry for help, with 67% believing that people who
attempt suicide do not really want to die and 58% believing that those whose suicide
attempt was unsuccessful were not serious in their wish to die in the first place
48% believed that people who threaten to commit suicide rarely do so and that these
people are trying to get sympathy from others
only 31% of those surveyed believe that people who commit suicide are mentally ill,
but over 80% believe that suicide victims are depressed and lonely
Attitudes Towards Suicide, cont.
between 50 and 60 % of the respondents to the survey believed that people who
commit suicide had poor family relations in their younger years
52% believed that suicides are typically impulsive, and 65% felt that the suicide
victim’s family had no idea of what was about to happen
35% agreed with the statement “Once a person is suicidal, he/she is suicidal forever”.

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The Definition of Suicide
Suicide: an act with a fatal outcome which the deceased, knowing or expecting a
potentially fatal outcome, has initiated and carried out with the purpose of bringing
about wanted changes
The Definition of Suicide
It is estimated that on 9/11 perhaps 200 people jumped from the World Trade Center
when the towers were destroyed by terrorists
Would you consider what they did suicide?
These deaths were categorized as homicides
Passive Suicide
Another problem with the dictionary definition of suicide is that “intentional killing
of oneself”
Passive Suicide: death that occurs because minimal action is taken by people who
initiate a series of events which result in their deaths
WHO/EURO Multicentre study on suicidal behaviour definition
Suicide is an act with a fatal outcome which the deceased, knowing or expecting a
potential fatal outcome, has initiated and carried out with the purpose of bringing
about wanted changes (De Leo, Burgis, Bertolote, Kerkhof, & Bille-Brahe, 2004, pg.
The Demographics of Suicide
According to Stats Canada in 2011,
3728 Canadians took their own lives
Of these individuals, 2781 were males and 947 were females.
The Demographics of Suicide, cont.
499 of these suicides were committed by young people between the ages of 15
and 24 years. The gender difference first appears here and remains for the rest of
the lifespan.
People over the age of 65 years account for 517 of the total number of suicides.
Canada’s suicide rate has remained relatively consistent since 1980.
Additionally, according to WHO (2005):
industrialized countries have higher suicide rates than do non-industrialized
The Effects of Music on Suicide
Research has found adolescents who liked heavy metal music scored higher on
measures of suicidal ideation compared to other adolescents that liked other
music (Scheel & Westefeld, 1999)
Suicidal Ideation: Suicidal thoughts or an unusual preoccupation with suicide
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