Understanding Indigenous Suicide Through a Theoretical Lens: A Review of General, Culturally-Based, and Indigenous Frameworks

Victoria M. O'Keefe, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Raymond P. Tucker, Louisiana State University.
Ashley B. Cole, Oklahoma State University.
David W. Hollingsworth, Fairfield University.
LaRicka R. Wingate, Oklahoma State University.


Many American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities throughout North America continue to experience the devastating impact of suicide. Theoretical explanations of suicide from a psychological, sociological, cultural, and Indigenous perspective all differ in focus and applicability to AI/AN communities. These diverse theoretical frameworks and models are presented herein to examine the potential applicability, strengths, and limitations in understanding AI/AN suicide. In providing these perspectives, continued discussions and empirical examinations of AI/AN suicide can guide informative, culturally-informed suicide prevention and intervention efforts.