Content Analysis of Previously Suicidal College Students' Experiences
To ascertain actual helpful and unhelpful remarks received from others, 40 previously suicidal students answered open-ended questions about their experiences and completed the Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire (SBQ). Respondents were still moderately suicidal on the SBQ, even though their most recent suicidal episode was an average of 3 years earlier Respondents reported that family, friends, and personal resources were most helpful in keeping them alive. Those who told someone about their suicidal ideas or plans reported helpful remarks ("The situation is not worth dying for") that appeared to be empathic and thoughtful. Those who told no one about their suicidal ideas or plans, speculated helpful remarks that also appeared to be empathic and thoughtful. In contrast, unhelpful remarks (e.g., "You are stupid") appeared to be simplistic and thoughtless. Implications are that those who are suicidal should be careful in choosing person(s) in whom they confide, and training modules that give examples of actual helpful remarks might be useful for students.
Knott, E. C.,
Range, L. M.
(1998). Content Analysis of Previously Suicidal College Students' Experiences. Death Studies, 22(2), 171-180.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/4877