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Exploring the Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide: A Research Agenda for Communi-Suicidology
Unformatted Document Text:  Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide 11 of expression, and in two-thirds (67%) of instances the communication were repeated” (Robins et al., pp. 727-728). There was no significant evidence to indicate a predominant target of the communication. The research potential for communication studies is critical for this step. Studies should continue to determine: the types of self-disclosure used by suicidal individuals (do they differ from non-suicidals?); the target of their self-disclosure (to whom do they disclose such information?); and to determine the target’s response to this self-disclosure, if any. The more information we have about suicidal self-disclosure will directly apply to the next step, response to suicidality/intent. Response to Suicidality/Intent The response to an individual’s suicidality/intent is illustrated in Step C of the model (see Appendix). Richman (1986) noted, “as suicide is mediated through a communication system, so, too, is the prevention of suicide. In fact, the communication of suicidal intent by a self-destructive person has probably saved many lives through alerting concerned loved ones and professionals” (pp. 138-139). Research has mainly treated this area as a channel of intervention and prevention (Daigle, M. S., & Mishara, B. L., 1995; Miller & Gergen, 1998; Mishara, B. L., & Daigle, M. S.). However, the actual response may not be constructive. If, as studies have shown (Shneidman, 1985),

Authors: Miraldi, Peter.
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Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide 11
of expression, and in two-thirds (67%) of instances the
communication were repeated” (Robins et al., pp. 727-728). There
was no significant evidence to indicate a predominant target of
the communication.
The research potential for communication studies is critical
for this step. Studies should continue to determine: the types of
self-disclosure used by suicidal individuals (do they differ from
non-suicidals?); the target of their self-disclosure (to whom do
they disclose such information?); and to determine the target’s
response to this self-disclosure, if any. The more information we
have about suicidal self-disclosure will directly apply to the
next step, response to suicidality/intent.
Response to Suicidality/Intent
The response to an individual’s suicidality/intent is
illustrated in Step C of the model (see Appendix). Richman (1986)
noted, “as suicide is mediated through a communication system,
so, too, is the prevention of suicide. In fact, the communication
of suicidal intent by a self-destructive person has probably
saved many lives through alerting concerned loved ones and
professionals” (pp. 138-139). Research has mainly treated this
area as a channel of intervention and prevention (Daigle, M. S.,
& Mishara, B. L., 1995; Miller & Gergen, 1998; Mishara, B. L., &
Daigle, M. S.). However, the actual response may not be
constructive. If, as studies have shown (Shneidman, 1985),


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