Year: 2019 Source: Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. (2019).49(4), 1006-1018. SIEC No: 20190610

This paper advocates for a more robust sense of mattering into the interpersonal‐psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) constructs of perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. According to IPTS, suicide is precipitated in part by the presence of these twin constructs. IPTS theorists rely on mattering, or feeling significant to others, to undergird theoretical constructs. This is not surprising, as mattering theorists herald “significance to others” as essential to one’s will to live. However, IPTS theorists solely leverage mattering to explain perceived burdensomeness.
This paper summarizes the existing suicide literature on IPTS and mattering. Further, this paper extensively reviews how mattering has been incorporated into IPTS to date, and possibilities for how mattering could be more fully integrated into the theory.
IPTS theorists rely on select mattering elements to define perceived burdensomeness. Strong theoretical overlap exists between mattering and thwarted belongingness.
Mattering can play central role in understanding both perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Implications for future research and use of mattering‐enriched IPTS are discussed.