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Completed suicide: a taxonomic analysis of clinical and social data

  • Christopher Bagley (a1), Solomon Jacobson (a1) and Ann Rehin (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2009

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.

Corresponding author
1Address for correspondence: Dr Christopher Bagley, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford.
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C. Bagley (1975). On the validity of measures of association. American Journal of Sociology 80, 992993.

B. Barraclough , J. Bunch , B. Nelson & P. Sainsbury (1974). A hundred cases of suicide: clinical aspects. British Journal of Psychiatry 125, 355373.

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P. Golder & K. Yeomans (1973). The use of cluster analysis for stratification. Applied Statistics 22, 213219.

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N. Kreitman , A. Philip , S. Greer & C. Bagley (1969). Parasuicide. British Journal of Psychiatry 115, 746.

J. McCulloch & A. Philip (1972). Suicidal Behaviour. Pergamon: Oxford.

J. McCulloch , A. Philip & G. Carstairs (1967). The ecology of suicidal behaviour. British Journal of Psychiatry 113, 313319.

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Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
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