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Associations between experiences of disrupted attachments and suicidal thoughts and behaviours: An interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Soc Sci Med 2019; 235:112408SS

Abstract

RATIONALE

Suicide is a major public health concern and its aetiology is complex. Evidence suggests that experiences of early disrupted attachment relationships with parents and family members are associated with later experiences of suicidal thoughts and behaviours (STB). However, no study has investigated this relationship from an inductive, interpretative and idiographic perspective.

OBJECTIVE

This paper explores the role of interpersonal relationships in STB among nine individuals who have attempted suicide.

METHOD

Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION

Two inter-related master themes were identified: 1) 'challenging relationships as catalysts for STB'; and 2) 'positive relationships as buffers against STB'. Findings indicate that experiences of early disrupted parent-child attachments may contribute to vulnerability for STB by shaping participants' perceptions of intimate others and themselves (internal working models). These working models, along with other environmental factors and life events, may increase the risk of STB through perceptions of defeat, entrapment, perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Results also suggest that being exposed to respectful, caring, unconditionally accepting, reciprocal, trusting, and non-judgemental intimate adult relationships increase resilience and is associated with recovery from past STB and a reduction of current suicide risk. The theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, 1055 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 0XH, Scotland, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Tiago.Zortea@glasgow.ac.uk.School of Health & Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, 70 Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4 0BA, Scotland, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Adele.Dickson@gcu.ac.uk.Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Room 230, 25-29, Bute Gardens, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8RS, Scotland, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Cindy.Gray@glasgow.ac.uk.Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Academic Centre, Gartnavel Royal Hospital, 1055 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 0XH, Scotland, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Rory.OConnor@glasgow.ac.uk.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31323541

Citation

Zortea, Tiago C., et al. "Associations Between Experiences of Disrupted Attachments and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis." Social Science & Medicine (1982), vol. 235, 2019, p. 112408.
Zortea TC, Dickson A, Gray CM, et al. Associations between experiences of disrupted attachments and suicidal thoughts and behaviours: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2019;235:112408.
Zortea, T. C., Dickson, A., Gray, C. M., & O'Connor, R. C. (2019). Associations between experiences of disrupted attachments and suicidal thoughts and behaviours: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 235, p. 112408. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112408.
Zortea TC, et al. Associations Between Experiences of Disrupted Attachments and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2019;235:112408. PubMed PMID: 31323541.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Associations between experiences of disrupted attachments and suicidal thoughts and behaviours: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. AU - Zortea,Tiago C, AU - Dickson,Adele, AU - Gray,Cindy M, AU - O'Connor,Rory C, Y1 - 2019/07/10/ PY - 2018/12/10/received PY - 2019/06/19/revised PY - 2019/07/07/accepted PY - 2019/7/20/pubmed PY - 2019/7/20/medline PY - 2019/7/20/entrez KW - Attachment KW - Parenting KW - Psychological vulnerability KW - Relationships KW - Resilience KW - Suicide SP - 112408 EP - 112408 JF - Social science & medicine (1982) JO - Soc Sci Med VL - 235 N2 - RATIONALE: Suicide is a major public health concern and its aetiology is complex. Evidence suggests that experiences of early disrupted attachment relationships with parents and family members are associated with later experiences of suicidal thoughts and behaviours (STB). However, no study has investigated this relationship from an inductive, interpretative and idiographic perspective. OBJECTIVE: This paper explores the role of interpersonal relationships in STB among nine individuals who have attempted suicide. METHOD: Semi-structured face-to-face interviews were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Two inter-related master themes were identified: 1) 'challenging relationships as catalysts for STB'; and 2) 'positive relationships as buffers against STB'. Findings indicate that experiences of early disrupted parent-child attachments may contribute to vulnerability for STB by shaping participants' perceptions of intimate others and themselves (internal working models). These working models, along with other environmental factors and life events, may increase the risk of STB through perceptions of defeat, entrapment, perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Results also suggest that being exposed to respectful, caring, unconditionally accepting, reciprocal, trusting, and non-judgemental intimate adult relationships increase resilience and is associated with recovery from past STB and a reduction of current suicide risk. The theoretical and clinical implications are discussed. SN - 1873-5347 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31323541/Associations_between_experiences_of_disrupted_attachments_and_suicidal_thoughts_and_behaviours:_An_interpretative_phenomenological_analysis L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0277-9536(19)30394-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -