The development of a process theory of suicidal behaviour.
This qualitative study attempted to develop a process theory of suicidal behaviour. The Arthur Inman diary, which documents the thoughts and feelings of a suicidal individual (Arthur Crew Inman) who eventually died by suicide, was the primary data source from which the theory emerged. Aspects of the qualitative grounded theory procedure were used to develop the theory. Purposeful intensity sampling, theoretical sampling, open and discriminant sampling were applied at different stages of the research process. In addition, the constant comparative method, which forms the hallmark of grounded theory procedures, was an integral part of the analytic procedure. The emergent process theory, which was firmly grounded in the primary data source and extant literature sources, hopefully offers a new paradigm within which suicidal behaviour can be understood. It proposes the processional aspects of suicide and puts forward phases, which a potentially suicidal individual goes through. It thus attempts to bridge a major gap in the study of suicidal behaviour by providing dynamic pathways that link vulnerability to suicide with the suicide act.