Measuring acquired capability for suicide: Incremental validity of the death inurement scale.

Proponents of the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide have theorized that an acquired capability for suicide is a key construct in the development of high-risk suicidal behavior. However, extant measures do not adequately capture the content domains of this construct. Using 239 psychiatric outpatients recruited from public and private psychiatry and psychology sites, we validated a […]

Emotional and economic intimate partner violence as key drivers of depression and suicidal ideation: A cross-sectional study among young women in informal settlements in South Africa.

Little research has assessed the impact of emotional intimate partner violence (IPV) and economic IPV on women’s mental health. Using cross-sectional data from the Stepping Stones and Creating Futures intervention trial baseline, in eThekwini Municipality, South Africa we assess three questions. First, whether emotional IPV and economic IPV make independent contributions to mental health outcomes; […]

“Our lifestyle is a mix-match”: Traditional healers talk about suicide and suicide prevention in South Africa.

Practitioners of traditional African medicine (traditional healers) are an important part of the health care system in South Africa, yet their voices are often absent from discussions about public health. In this context, we set out to investigate how a group of traditional healers in South Africa understand suicide and suicide prevention. In-depth, semistructured interviews […]

Child and adolescent suicide attempts, suicidal behavior, and adverse childhood experiences in South Africa: A prospective study.

This is the first known prospective study of child suicidal behavior in sub-Saharan Africa. Aims were to determine whether (1) cumulative exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) predicts later suicidality and (2) heightened risks are mediated by mental health disorder and drug/alcohol misuse. Longitudinal repeated interviews were conducted 1 year apart (97% retention) with 3,515 […]

Traumatic dissociation as a predictor of posttraumatic stress disorder in South African female rape survivors.

Women survivors of rape are at an increased risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traumatic dissociation has been identified as a precursor of PTSD. This study assessed the predictive potential of traumatic dissociation in PTSD and depression development. The study followed a longitudinal, prospective design. Ninety-seven female rape survivors were recruited from 2 clinics in […]

Attempted suicide in a Xhosa schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder population.


The representation of self injury and suicide on emo social networking groups


Psychosocial determinants of suicide attempts among black South African adolescents: a qualitative analysis.

In South Africa, one in five adolescents attempt suicide. Suicide attempts continue to rise. We aimed to identify psychosocial target points for future educational interventions. One-to-one semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore psychosocial factors associated with past suicide attempts among suicide survivors in Limpopo province, South Africa. A total of 14 adolescents (eight girls and […]

Posttraumatic stress disorder diagnostic criteria and suicidal ideation in a South African Police sample.

Objective: Exposure to traumatic events may precipitate suicidal ideation. Once an individual is diagnosed with PTSD, a suicide risk assessment often follows. This study explores how PTSD symptom criteria correlate with suicidal ideation in a sample of police officers. While the psychometric measures of PTSD often mirror the DSM-IV-TR criteria, focusing on exposure, symptom, and […]

Suicide in a poor rural community in the Western Cape, South Africa: Experiences of five suicide attempters and their families.

International studies have documented the association between poverty, low education levels and poor mental health, including suicide attempts. Many farm worker communities in the Western Cape, South Africa, are exposed to poor living and working conditions throughout their lives. They also tend to suffer from chronic illness such as tuberculosis as well as widespread alcohol […]

Memory and narrative healing processes in grief work in Africa: Reflections on promotion of re-anchoring.

This article presents a clinical account of how a university undergraduate client thrown into instant loss of meaning, social withdrawal, depression, food refusal, and suicidal ideation arising from the untimely and inexplicable death of a mother was enabled to regain psychological integration, re-anchoring, and the wish to go on with life in spite of the […]

Recall of early non-fatal suicidality in a nationally representative sample of South Africans.

Objectives: Little is known about socio-demographic patterns of non-fatal suicidality in early life in South Africa. We investigated the prevalence of self-reported early suicidality (suicidal ideation, planning and attempts) in a nationally representative sample of South Africans. Design: As part of a larger mental health survey, 3158 individuals aged over 25 years were asked to […]

Gendered endings: Narratives of male and female suicides in the South African Lowveld.


The Lived Experiences of Late-Adolescent Female Suicide Survivors: ‘A Part of me Died’

This phenomenological psychological study explored the lived experiences of 5 late-adolescent suicide survivors, particularly those negative experiences that seemed to worsen in the following weeks & months. Participants were recruited through purposive sampling & data were collected through collage-facilitated, face-to-face phenomenological interviews with some participants also providing documentary materials. Data analysis was done according to […]

Incidence of Suicide Among Teenagers and Young Adults in Transkei, South Africa

This retrospective study reviewed mortuary records, 1993-2003, from medico-legal autopsies done at the Umtata General Hospital in Transkei. Of the 10,340 autopsies, 398 were suicides in which hanging was the method. The number has increased from 5.2 per 100,000 population in 1993 to 16.2 in 2003. More than one-half of these cases were people less […]

Suicide Ideation in the South African Police Services in the North West Province

This research examined the relationship between sense of coherence, job satisfaction, & suicide ideation among South African police personnel. The study population consisted of 120 police officers in the North West Province. The results show sense of coherence is related to suicide ideation in the case of white police officers. Sense of coherence & satisfaction […]

Suicidal Ideation and Attempts in Adolescents: Associations With Depression and six Domains of Self-Esteem

This study examined the influence of depression & self-esteem on suicidal behaviour in adolescence. 939 Grade 8 & 11 students in Cape Town, South Africa completed questionnaires assessing suicide ideation & behaviour, depression, & self-esteem with respect to family, peers, school, sports/athletics, body image, & global self-worth. Data were analysed using a series of multinomial […]

Psychological Strengths, Coping and Suicide Ideation in the South African Police Services in the North West Province

This research determined the relationship between sense of coherence, generalised self-efficacy, locus of control, & coping on the one hand & suicide ideation among South African police personnel on the other. The study population consisted of 287 uniformed officers in the North West Province. Results showed sense of coherence & generalised self-efficacy were related to […]

Parasuicide in Pregnancy

Parasuicide is a significant risk factor for completed suicide. Furthermore, suicide is emerging as an important cause of maternal death, especially among young mothers. There are no published reports of parasuicide in pregnancy from poor countries. Three cases are reported to highlight this issue & to demonstrate management options available to health professionals working in […]

Suicide Risk in Schizophrenia – a Follow-Up Study After 20 Years. Part 1: Outcome and Associated Social Factors

This study reevaluated, after a period of 20 years, a cohort of patients with schizophrenia who had been considered to be at high risk for suicide. Subjects were contacted & interviewed face-to-face using a questionnaire devised for this purpose & other rating scales were also administered. A psychological autopsy was performed for those individuals who […]

Non-Fatal Suicidal Behavior Among South Africans: Results From the South Africa Stress and Health Study

This study examined the prevalence, age of onset, & sociodemographic correlates of suicide ideation, planning, & attempts among South Africans. Nationally representative data are from the South Africa Stress & Health Study. Bivariate & survival analyses were used to delineate patterns & correlates of nonfatal suicidal behaviour. Transitions are estimated using life table analysis. The […]

Suicide Risk in Schizophrenia – a Follow-Up Study After 20 Years. Part 2: Symptomatology and Pharmacotherapy

Suicide risk was reevaluated in a group of patients with schizophrenia who were considered to be at high risk 20 years previously. Symptomatology & pharmacotherapy were investigated. Subjects were interviewed & a questionnaire evaluating suicide risk was completed along with other scales. Psychological autopsies were performed for 3 subjects who had died by suicide. 14 […]

Suicide Mortality in South Africa: a City-Level Comparison Across Socio-Demographic Groups

This study assessed whether gender- & ethnic-specific suicide rates differed across 6 of South Africa’s major cities. Data on 4946 suicides occurring between 2001-2003 were collected. The overall age-standardised rate for the 6 cities was 25.3 per 100,000 for men & 5.6 per 100,000 for women. Suicide rates are most often highest among whites & […]