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The Epidemiology Of Suicide, Theories Of Suicide, Marital Status And The Family, The Protective Effect Of Children

The word suicide covers a wide range of behaviors, including (1) completed suicide; in which the individual dies as a result of the self-destructive act; (2) attempted suicide, in which the individual survives the act; and (3) suicidal ideation, which refers to the individual thinking about and planning suicidal behavior, but not putting these thoughts into action.

A controversy exists over the term attempted suicide. Because many of the individuals who survive a suicidal action did not intend to die (for example, they may have intentionally taken only half of a lethal dose of a medication), some scholars object to the term. Europeans suggested parasuicide as an alternative, especially for suicide attempts of low lethality, but in recent years the terms self-injury and self-poisoning have become popular.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Social Issues