Year: 2023 Source: Crisis. (2016). 37(3), 169–175. DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000420 SIEC No: 20231532
This editorial asserts that neither Durkheim’s social integration theory nor Joiner’s interpersonal theory explains the cause of suicide. Instead, the theories illustrate the facilitations of suicide or of the immune system against suicide. The theories might account for the conditions that are sufficient for suicide, but we still need to find the condition that is necessary for suicide. If increasing social integration is to strengthen the immune system (to decrease the sufficient conditions) against suicide, what is the necessary condition (cause) for suicide? Where did the suicidal virus or disease come from? In other words, what makes a person determined to die to begin with? To sociologists, the answers can only be found in the social structure, the environment, and the life of those individuals. The strain theory of suicide postulates that psychological strains usually precede a suicidal thought or determination. The author describes four sources of psychological strain that may cause suicidal ideation. Each of the four types of strain is derived from specific sources. A source of strain must consist of at least two conflicting social facts. If the two social facts are noncontradictory, there should be no strain. The four strain sources are (1) differential values, (2) reality versus aspiration, (3) relative deprivation, and (4) deficient coping. The author proposes a two-factor model theory of suicide, which is a synthesis of the strain and integration theories. To test the two-factor model theory of suicide, large population data need to be obtained with sophisticated measurements of the critical variables for a comprehensive examination of the different roles played by psychological strains and disconnectedness/capability in suicidal behavior.