Introduction to the Special Issue: Recent Advances in Suicide Research: Mediators and Moderators of Risk and Resilience
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Anestis, Michael D.
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CitationKleiman, Evan M., and Michael D. Anestis. 2015. “Introduction to the Special Issue: Recent Advances in Suicide Research: Mediators and Moderators of Risk and Resilience.” International Journal of Cognitive Therapy 8 (2) (June): 95–98. doi:10.1521/ijct.2015.8.2.95.
AbstractThe impact of suicide is undeniable. In the United States alone, over 40,000 people died by suicide in 2012 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2013). Moreover, it is estimated that 10 times as many people make medically serious suicide attempts every year, resulting in a cost to the medical system in excess of $150 million. A large body of research on suicide risk has been amassed with the implicit goal of reducing suicide’s impact. This goal has yet to be achieved. Since 1990, suicide rates have generally stayed the same (Kessler, Berglund, Borges, Nock, & Wang, 2005). The lack of progress in reducing suicide’s impact may be a result of limits to what we can learn from the majority of previous research, which has often relied upon bivariate and sometimes atheoretical models. Indeed, there has recently been a push to move beyond main effect models to more complex theoretically informed models of suicide risk that involve mediators and moderators (Glenn & Nock, 2014; O’Connor & Nock, 2014). Main effect models can only identify which factors are associated with suicide risk. Moderation and mediation models, however, help us understand the conditions under which suicide risk is enhanced or diminished as well as the mechanisms of how suicide risk is generated. The articles in this special issue of the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy address this need for a movement beyond main effects by answering three overarching questions: (1) What are the moderators that might increase or decrease risk for suicide?, (2) What are the mediators between suicide risk and suicide-related outcomes?, and (3) How can we better integrate theory into our empirical investigations?
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