Examining the impact of suicide on adolescent survivors

Year of award: 2016


  • Laura del Carpio

    University of Strathclyde

Project summary

Research suggests that people who have lost a loved one to suicide are at high risk of future problems including mental and physical health issues, and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. This is particularly concerning in adolescent survivors, a group that has been highlighted as particularly vulnerable in the Scottish Government’s suicide prevention strategy. 

This theory-based investigation will look at the types of bereavements adolescents encounter in Scotland and whether an existing psychological model of self-harm and suicide helps conceptualise why experiences of losing a family member to suicide leads to a greater risk of suicidal behaviour. I will investigate whether this model can predict engagement in self-harm and suicidal thoughts. I will also look for any qualitative differences in experiences of young people who are grieving. 

I will use a series of four interlinked studies using various research methodologies with adolescents across Scotland. This work has major implications for postvention and intervention development, clinical practice, and policy planning.