MEANING IN METHODS OF SUICIDE
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It is possible to identify two broad approaches within research regarding suicide behaviour The first aims to clarify individual sociodemographic or psychological characteristics that identify "at risk" individuals The second recognises the importance of understanding the meaning that suicide behaviour has for the individuals concerned. This study aimed to elaborate recent research that has identified the importance of understanding the meaning that people give to using particular suicide methods. This study investigated the relationship between the meanings that suicide attempters give to suicide methods and the meanings that they attach to living and dying. Eight people who had made suicide attempts were each asked to list eight methods of suicide - four that they were likely to use and four that they were unlikely to use. They then ranked the methods in order of how likely they were to use them. Using Repertory Grid Technique, participants generated constructs regarding the suicide methods. They then rated the methods according to the poles of the constructs they produced. Using the same constructs, participants were then asked to rate additional grid elements regarding dying and living The construct rating patterns of the grid elements were then correlated using Kendall's Tau-B correlation The results of this study indicate that different people view different suicide methods differently. Also, the relationship between the meanings attached to particular methods was found to be a function of the degree to which methods differed in their acceptability rankings In addition, the results from this small sample indicated that the meaning that suicide attempters give to using their most preferred suicide method is associated with the meaning they attach to living and dying. For some individuals, this association was apparent only at a more fundamental level of construing. Interpretations of these results are offered and their clinical implications discussed Limitations of the current study are acknowledged and suggestions to improve the approach to this research question are given.
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