Year: 1998 Source: Omega, v.38, no.2, (1998-99), p.77-97 SIEC No: 19990219

This article maintains that it is important to understand how any given society views the act of suicide. It traces the forces that have shaped attitudes in the Western world, documenting the change from suicide as a sin to suicide as a mental health problem. It also discusses recent methods of assessing attitudes toward suicide, including both normed & non-normed approaches. Finally, it calls for new research in the area of attitudes that will permit finer analyses of this complex behaviour.