Year: 2024 Source: Network Science. (2024). https://doi.org/10.1017/nws.2024.8 SIEC No: 20240923
Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, particularly among adolescents. In recent years, suicidal ideation, attempts, and fatalities have increased. Systems maps can effectively represent complex issues such as suicide, thus providing decision-support tools for policymakers to identify and evaluate interventions. While network science has served to examine systems maps in fields such as obesity, there is limited research at the intersection of suicidology and network science. In this paper, we apply network science to a large causal map of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and suicide to address this gap. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently created a causal map that encapsulates ACEs and adolescent suicide in 361 concept nodes and 946 directed relationships. In this study, we examine this map and three similar models through three related questions: (Q1) how do existing network-based models of suicide differ in terms of node- and network-level characteristics? (Q2) Using the NCIPC model as a unifying framework, how do current suicide intervention strategies align with prevailing theories of suicide? (Q3) How can the use of network science on the NCIPC model guide suicide interventions?