The Importance of Temporal Dynamics in the Transition From Suicidal Thought to Behavior


May and Klonsky's meta-analysis highlights a critical limitation of suicide-focused research, the conflation of risk factors for suicide ideation with risk factors for suicidal behavior, and calls for new research aimed at predicting which suicidal individuals will transition to suicide attempts. A critical limitation of existing models of suicide is the lack of attention to nonlinear change processes among relevant risk variables, which could conceal the true nature of the transition from suicidal thought to action. The fluid vulnerability of theory of suicide provides a working model for conceptualizing static versus dynamic aspects of suicide risk over time. Future research focused on understanding the transition from suicidal thought to action should incorporate theoretical models and analytic methods capable of quantifying and describing nonlinear change processes.

Publication Title

Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice