Suicidal behavior is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Fortunately, recent developments in suicide theory and research promise to meaningfully advance knowledge and prevention. One key development is the ideation-to-action framework, which stipulates that () the development of suicidal ideation and () the progression from ideation to suicide attempts are distinct phenomena with distinct explanations and predictors. A second key development is a growing body of research distinguishing factors that predict ideation from those that predict suicide attempts. For example, it is becoming clear that depression, hopelessness, most mental disorders, and even impulsivity predict ideation, but these factors struggle to distinguish those who have attempted suicide from those who have only considered suicide. Means restriction is also emerging as a highly effective way to block progression from ideation to attempt. A third key development is the proliferation of theories of suicide that are positioned within the ideation-to-action framework. These include the interpersonal theory, the integrated motivational-volitional model, and the three-step theory. These perspectives can and should inform the next generation of suicide research and prevention.


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