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The Interpersonal Nature of Suicide: A Qualitative Investigation of Suicide Notes

The Interpersonal Nature of Suicide: A Qualitative Investigation of Suicide Notes

Abstract

Prior investigations of suicide notes typically focus on verifying psychological theories about suicide motives. Fewer concern the interpersonal nature of suicide. This research investigated broad interpersonal themes related to suicide as revealed through suicide notes. This study was a qualitative investigation of suicide notes written by 138 individuals who completed suicide. Grounded theory analysis revealed seven interpersonal themes: 1) instructions; 2) positive relationships; 3) explanations; 4) relationship reconciliation/maintenance; 5) concern for others; 6) negative relationships; and 7) acknowledging end of relationship. These themes suggest that suicidal individuals consider positive and negative aspects of relationships in their notes, and they attempt to maintain and reconcile relationships even in the face of death.
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