The material culture of suicidal fantasies

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Abstract

In this study, the author examined the content of impulsive suicidal fantasies among U.S. undergraduates. Of 546 participants, 45.6% reported incidents in which they fantasized about killing themselves. Most fantasies (95%) included explicit references to suicide methods, and most of those fantasies (98%) involved human-made tools or materials (e.g., drugs, cutlery, firearms). The methods reported in most suicidal fantasies seem to have been suggested by the mass media. The findings suggest that suicidal thoughts do not occur without explicit and detailed information about suicide methods involving material culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Volume139
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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