Year: 2019 Source: Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. (2019). 40(2), 125-133. SIEC No: 20190320

Background: Little is known about linguistic differences between nonprofessional suicide message boards that differ in regard to their predominant attitude to suicide. Aims: To compare linguistic indicators potentially related to suicidality between anti-suicide, neutral, and pro-suicide message boards, and between the types of posters (primary posters, who initiate the thread, and the respective respondents). Method: In all, 1,200 threads from seven German-language nonprofessional suicide message boards were analyzed using the software Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) with regard to wording related to suicidal fantasies, aggression, and indicators of so-called suicidal constriction. Data were analyzed with ANOVA. Results: There were fewer words related to affective, social, cognitive, and communicative processes in pro-suicide message boards than in other boards. Death-related wording and aggression as well as tentative wording appeared more prevalent in pro-suicide boards. Limitations: Complex language structures cannot be analyzed with LIWC. Conclusion: The results suggest fewer emotion words and wording related to social circumstances among primary posters and respondents in pro-suicide boards as compared with other boards, and a higher use of death- and aggression-related words. These findings might signal a higher degree of suicidality or sheer differences in matters of interest or social desirability. The differences require attention in practice and research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)