School Psychology Review

Suicide Prevention in Schools as Viewed Through the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behavior

Thomas E. Joiner, Jr.

pp. 244-248

Special Series: School-Based Suicide Prevention: Research Advances and Practice Implications

I have proposed a new theory of suicidal behavior—the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior (Joiner, 2005)—which attempts to answer the question “Why do people die by suicide?” In this commentary, I briefly describe the theory, and then argue that the theory’s constructs may allow a new level of focus and specificity for suicide prevention in general and for school-based suicide prevention in particular. In so doing, I discuss my colleagues’ findings and concepts from this special series and suggest some avenues for future research.