Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Thomas Stenvig


adolescents, grounded theory, suicidal behaviors, suicidality, suicide theories


Suicide and self-harming behaviors are significant public health problems among children and adolescents globally and in the United States. Despite significant advances in recent decades to understand, prevent, and treat childhood and adolescent self-harming and suicide, suicide rates remain high. Since the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention set a goal to reduce suicide deaths and attempts by 40% by 2020, there has been a paradigm shift in the study of suicide yielding significant advances in the understanding of suicide and other forms of self-inflicted injury. This dissertation highlights some of the new developments in the study of suicide. First, a grounded theory model of the process of adolescent girls attempting and surviving suicide is presented in Chapter 2, showing three separate but interrelated phases describing the overall core phenomenon of searching for a sense of place. Second, a concept analysis of the term suicidality in Chapter 3 indicates the need for standard use of terms in suicide research. Finally, a scoping review of a new generation of theories of suicide in Chapter 4 shows promise for moving suicide research forward in new directions. Although there have been some significant developments in understanding suicide, much remains unknown. The gap in the current understanding of suicide provides a research agenda for future directions in the study of suicide.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Teenage girls -- Suicidal behavior.
Teenage girls -- Suicidal behavior -- Prevention.
Teenage girls -- Psychology.
Grounded theory.
Belonging (Social psychology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright