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PSYKISK-Psykisk helse

Suicidal behaviour in a cultural perspective

Tildelt: kr 3,6 mill.

Although research on suicidal behaviour is quite abundant, we are still far from reaching a full understanding of the meaning(s) of such behaviour. In pursuit of this goal, we need to take cultural aspects into consideration. Two approaches to study the m eaning(s) of suicidal behaviour is to look at the intentionality involved in such behaviour, and to look at the attitudes towards suicidal behaviour. Building on research already conducted by this research group, the main aim of the present study is to en hance our understanding of the meaning(s) of suicidal behaviour in a cultural context by a) studying and comparing intentionality involved in nonfatal suicidal behaviour in Norway and Ghana, and b) studying and comparing attitudes towards suicidal behavio ur in various groups of students, professionals and lay people in Ghana and Uganda. Additional aims are to contribute to the development of research methodology and theory building in a cultural context. Methodological triangulation is employed in the stu dy. In the intentionality part of the study, semi-structured interviews consisting of a narrative and a problem-focused part will be conducted with patients admitted to hospital following an act of nonfatal suicidal behaviour. The interviews will focus on the following circumstances: 1) the patient's own narrative about a) how he or she came to the suicidal act itself, b) which intention the patient him/herself had with the act, c) how the patient has experienced the surroundings' reactions to the act, an d, 2) the patient's body image and experience, and 3) the patient's communicative repertoire. In the attitude part of the study, first, qualitative interviews (semi-structured) of groups of students, professionals and lay people will be conducted, and, se cond, a quantitative questionnaire study in similar groups will be conducted. The results will provide a research base from which suicide preventive efforts can be developed and initiated.


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