The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behaviors as an explanation of suicide among war veterans Book Chapter

cited authors

  • Monteith, LL; Green, KL; Mathew, AR; Pettit, JW

fiu authors


  • War veterans are at elevated risk of suicide, nonfatal suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation. Suicide is a leading cause of death among veterans. Understanding protective and risk factors for suicide in this high risk group is of great clinical importance, particularly considering the increasing number of war veterans in the United States. The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (1) is presented as an explanatory model of suicide in war veterans. In this model, a desire for suicide, comprised of an unmet basic need to belong and a perceived sense of burdensomeness to close others, and the acquired competence to inflict potentially fatal self-harm interact to confer risk for suicide. This chapter describes each component of the interpersonal-psychological theory and its relevance to war veterans. The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide provides a promising framework to explain suicide in war veterans and may inform the development of screening, prevention, and intervention strategies. Clinical implications derived from the theory and directions for future research are discussed. © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • December 1, 2011

start page

  • 249

end page

  • 264