Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Completed suicide: a taxonomic analysis of clinical and social data

Christopher Bagleya1 c1, Solomon Jacobsona1 and Ann Rehina1

a1 Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford and St Francis Hospital, Haywards Heath, Sussex

Abstract

A post mortem enquiry has been made into the social family and clinical circumstances of 50 individuals who, according to a coroner's verdict, killed themselves in Brighton. A dimensional analysis of the 123 variables thus collected suggested the possibility of three distinct types of suicide: ‘depressive suicide’, ‘sociopathic suicide’ and ‘physical illness suicide’. The reliability of this typology has been checked by the analysis of 55 selected variables for a total of 193 cases considered by the same coroner. A cluster analysis has confirmed that the data contain at least three independent types of suicide. Some implications for the prevention of suicide are discussed.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Christopher Bagley, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford.

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