Implications of suicide writings

Cull, Stephanie Yolanda McLellan (2018). Implications of suicide writings. University of Birmingham. Foren.Psy.D.

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This thesis examined the role of suicide notes as left by the victims of suicide. Suicide note analysis is arguably one of the most robust methodologies in the study of suicide and its prevention. Only a fraction of suicide victims leave a note, however. Although homogeneity has largely been assumed between note writers and non-writers, this assumption was initially made with little if any supporting evidence. This thesis therefore aimed to investigate whether note writers are representative of all suicide victims. A systematic review of existing literature which statistically compared note writers to non-writers was performed. Roughly half of the identified citations reported significant differences between note writers and non-writers; the remainder reported no significant differences. A critique of the Suicide Intent Scale was also presented. The scale’s psychometric properties, strengths, limitations, and contributions to research and clinical practice were evaluated. The thesis also empirically investigated the assumed homogeneity between note writers and non-writers by performing a comparative study using a previously untested sample of Canadian suicide victims. It was concluded that there were no significant differences between note writers and non-writers. Cultural considerations were made. The limitations of this study and implications for future research were discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Foren.Psy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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