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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 6 outcomes. In this paper, the interpersonal communication dimension of this model will be further explored and an in-depth extension of the original model will be proffered (see Appendix). As Vartabedian (1988) noted, “while there are numerous linear, non-linear, and transactional models of communication, one which focuses on the unique exigencies of suicidal messages is needed” (p. 12). This model will also serve as a topical guide for the present discussion of the interpersonal communicative aspects of suicide. One of the most important aspects of the suicidal process is the communication between the suicidal individual and his/her family member, friend, crisis worker, etc. Shneidman (1985) refers to this type of communication as an “integral part of the suicide drama” (p. 144). However, the contributions of communication researchers to this area are surprisingly small considering the consensus among suicidologists that suicide is, in part, a communicative process (Cowgell, 1977; Darbonne, 1969; Handwerk, Larzelere, Friman, & Mitchell, 1998; Lonnqvist, 1995). Therefore, most of the aspects of this model have received little, if any, attention from communication scholars. Furthermore, because of this model’s unique analysis of specifically communicative aspects of suicide, there are some aspects that have been ignored by suicidologists as well. Again, the purpose of this model is to represent the different aspects of suicide that relate to interpersonal communication, the

Authors: Miraldi, Peter.
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Interpersonal Communication Aspects of Suicide 6
outcomes. In this paper, the interpersonal communication
dimension of this model will be further explored and an in-depth
extension of the original model will be proffered (see Appendix).
As Vartabedian (1988) noted, “while there are numerous linear,
non-linear, and transactional models of communication, one which
focuses on the unique exigencies of suicidal messages is needed”
(p. 12). This model will also serve as a topical guide for the
present discussion of the interpersonal communicative aspects of
suicide.
One of the most important aspects of the suicidal process is
the communication between the suicidal individual and his/her
family member, friend, crisis worker, etc. Shneidman (1985)
refers to this type of communication as an “integral part of the
suicide drama” (p. 144). However, the contributions of
communication researchers to this area are surprisingly small
considering the consensus among suicidologists that suicide is,
in part, a communicative process (Cowgell, 1977; Darbonne, 1969;
Handwerk, Larzelere, Friman, & Mitchell, 1998; Lonnqvist, 1995).
Therefore, most of the aspects of this model have received
little, if any, attention from communication scholars.
Furthermore, because of this model’s unique analysis of
specifically communicative aspects of suicide, there are some
aspects that have been ignored by suicidologists as well. Again,
the purpose of this model is to represent the different aspects
of suicide that relate to interpersonal communication, the


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