An Interpretive Phenomenological Inquiry of Family and Friend Reactions to Suicide Disclosure

Laura M. Frey, Jason D. Hans, Julie Cerel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Suicide attempt survivors’ interpretations of reactions to attempts are understudied, yet could inform prevention efforts concerning subsequent attempts. Interviews with 40 attempt survivors about family and friend reactions were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological techniques. Three distinct patterns emerged as follows: (a) Stigmatizing statements and emphasis on reactor's feelings were interpreted as signs that attempt survivors were a burden to others, (b) avoidant reactions and excessive monitoring were interpreted as cues that suicidal behavior must remain hidden to not be a burden, and (c) asking questions and projecting strength were interpreted as signs that attempt survivors belonged and were not a burden. These findings highlight the importance of working with family and friends to encourage reactions that reduce the risk of future attempts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-172
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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