Psychology Professor Silvia Canetto’s research on suicide featured by American Psychological Association

Silvia CanettoThe research of Psychology Professor Silvia Sara Canetto was featured in a recent edition of the American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology. The article “The Cultural Distinctions in Whether, When and How People Engage in Suicidal Behavior” focused on the cultural specificity of suicidal behavior.

The Monitor article highlights Canetto’s research on what she has called cultural scripts of suicidal behavior, the implicit and culturally specific blueprints for when, where and how people engage in suicidal behavior – and how to respond to such behavior.

“It is often easier to see how suicide is scripted in cultures other than one’s own,” for example, in Muslim-majority communities, Canetto noted in the Monitor article. “It’s not so easy to see the suicide script in one’s own culture,” she continued. “U.S. psychologists often assume that culture is something others have, with the experience of European-descent populations being assumed as culture-free,” she said. Canetto has challenged this assumption via several studies of the suicide scripts of majority European-descent communities.

The article featured four of Canetto’s recent publications on these issues: “Suicide: Why are Older Men so Vulnerable?” “Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors in Girls and Women in the United States and Canada: Cultural and Intersectional Perspectives,” “Permissive Beliefs and Attitudes about Older Adult Suicide: A Suicide Enabling Script?” and “Suicidal Behaviors among Muslim Women.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the leading organization of psychologists in the U.S., with more than 117,000 members. The APA is dedicated to improving individual lives and benefitting society by advancing the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge. The Monitor on Psychology is a monthly magazine sent to all members.