Predictors of Interpersonal Suicide Risk in Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Groups
Suicide is a leading cause of premature death in minority groups; however, neither prevalence nor risk of suicide in Deaf and Hard-of-hearing (HH) populations is known. According to the interpersonal theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005), the desire for suicide, derived from perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness, along with a fearlessness about death and capability for suicide, acquired through painful physiological experiences, combine to create a highly predictive model of lethal self-harm. As Deaf and Hard-of-hearing groups are often marginalized from their hearing peers, these groups may be at a high risk for suicide. Thus, the aim of this study is to examine the relationship between acculturation and risk for suicide via variables that comprise the interpersonal theory of suicide. Further, attachment theory can be thought as a theoretical foundation to the interpersonal theory of suicide, as the attachment style one develops predicts whether one seeks or avoids closeness when distressed (Bowlby, 1983) and has also been linked to suicidal behaviors. Therefore, the role of adult attachment style within the relationship between acculturation and risk for suicide will also be assessed.