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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Deciding to die : decision making styles and suicide Qiu, Tianyou


Suicide is a leading cause of global mortality. However, despite decades of scientific and policy efforts, rates of suicide attempts have remained largely unchanged. A key reason for this is that most identified risk factors predict suicidal thoughts, but not acts. Understanding how people decide to die may help elucidate why some individuals act on their suicidal thoughts whereas others do not. The current project examined decision making styles in relations to suicidal thoughts and suicidal acts. Results showed rational decision making style differentiated attempters from ideators, with attempters exhibiting lower rational decision making style. Avoidant and dependent styles also distinguished attempters from ideators, with dependent decision makers less likely to be attempters, while the reverse was true for avoidant decision makers. As such, decision making styles may help to distinguish active suicide attempters vs. passive suicidal ideators, thus potentially contributing not only to suicide risk assessment but also intervention.

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