Preferred Name

Kacey Wilson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Anne Stewart

Robin Anderson

Elena Savina


This dissertation introduces the S9 Model of Suicidality, an innovative framework for conceptualizing and understanding suicidality among college students. The S9 Model integrates biological, psychological, ecological, and sociocultural dimensions of suicidality into a comprehensive approach to help inform prevention, intervention, and postvention on college campuses. Drawing from empirical research, the history of suicidology, relevant psychological theories, and insights from mental health practitioners, this model encapsulates a holistic view of suicidality, considering key factors like genetic predispositions, neurobiological processes, cognitive function, psychosocial stressors, cultural norms, societal expectations, and broader ecological contexts.

The model’s tripartite approach, focusing on the ontological, ecological, and phenomenological spheres, aids in understanding the progression of vulnerabilities (risks) and buffers (protections) in suicidality. The proposed S9 Model offers an integrative framework that identifies risk, as well as protective factors, along with key assessment considerations derived from several theoretical frameworks, including attachment, behavioral, cognitive, developmental, ecological, and evolutionary theories of suicide. By synthesizing diverse aspects of suicidality, the S9 Model serves as a shared platform promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among healthcare professionals. The model is poised to facilitate the development of comprehensive strategies to combat the escalating mental health crisis among college students in an evolving global context.

Available for download on Saturday, August 10, 2024