Unformatted text preview: bly leading to similar suicides Some clinicians argue that more responsible reporting could reduce this effect Comer, Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, 5e – Chapter 8 21 What Are the Underlying Causes of Suicide? Most people faced with difficult situations never attempt suicide In an effort to explain suicideproneness, theorists have proposed more fundamental explanations for selfdestructive behavior Leading theories come from the psychodynamic, sociocultural, and biological perspectives These hypotheses have received limited research support and fail to address the full range of suicidal acts
22 Comer, Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, 5e – Chapter 8 Underlying Causes of Suicide: The Psychodynamic View Theorists believe that suicide results from depression and from anger at others that is redirected toward oneself Additionally, Freud proposed that humans have a basic death instinct (“Thanatos”) that operates in opposition to the life instinct While most people learn to direct their death instinct toward others, suicidal people direct it at themselves
23 Comer, Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, 5e – Chapter 8 Underlying Causes of Suicide: The Sociocultural View Durkheim argues that the probability of suicide is determined by how attached a person is to such social groups as the family, religious institutions, and community The more thoroughly a person belongs, the lower the risk of suicide Based on this premise, he developed several categories of suicide, including egoistic, altruistic, and anomic suicide… 24 Comer, Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, 5e – Chapter 8 Underlying Causes of Suicide: The Sociocultural View Egoistic suicides are committed by people over whom society has little or no control Altruistic suicides are committed by people who are so well integrated into their society that they intentionally sacrifice their lives for its wellbeing Anomic suicides are those committed by people whose social environment fails to provide stable structures that support and give meaning to life A change in an individual’s immediate surroundings can also lead to this type of suicide
25 Comer, Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology, 5e – Chapter 8 Underlying Causes of Suicide: The Biological View Family pedigree and twin studies support the position that biological factors contribute to suicidal behavior For example, there are higher rates of suic...
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