A qualitative investigation into the risk and protective factors that mediate non-fatal suicidal behaviour in Indian adolescents.
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Considering the escalating rate of suicidal behaviour in adolescents, not much is known about the risk and protective factors that mediate non-fatal suicidal behaviour among this group. This study has focused on exploring the subjective worlds of Indian adolescents who have engaged in non-fatal suicidal behaviour in order to identify such factors, which are crucial in the designing of effective intervention programmes. The sample consisted of 10 adolescent patients who were admitted to R.K. Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, Durban after non-fatal suicide attempts. The emergent risk and protective factors were conceptualised according to Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) Social Ecology Theory, which facilitated an understanding of the multiple levels of risk and protective factors that mediate NFSB in adolescents. The results of this study highlight the collective influences of individual, familial, cultural and societal factors on adolescents’ decisions to engage in non-fatal suicidal behaviour. A number of clear priorities for prevention programmes emerged from the results of this study. As such, recommendations were made to facilitate prevention and intervention programmes at a site, familial, peer and community level.