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Escaping the World: Linguistic Indicators of Suicide Attempts in Poets

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The purpose of this study was to determine features of language use in the texts of poets who committed suicide and to identify psychological factors contributing to depression and suicide. Texts of suicidal and non-suicidal poets were analyzed via the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count program. ANOVA and logistic regression analysis revealed predictors of suicide: higher percentage of words self-oriented, expressed negative emotions, ambiguity, exclusion attitude toward reality, and lower percentages of words related to others, world entitativity, and experiencing the world. The data support hypotheses that suicide is facilitated by weak social bonds, egocentrism, helplessness, and visions of an unordered, uncertain, and unsafe world.
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Keywords: helplessness; social isolation; suicide; text analysis; uncertainty; world-view

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw, Poland

Publication date: September 1, 2014

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