Lexical analysis of colonial suicide reports: A useful foundation for theory building
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This preliminary study explored the utility of computer-assisted lexical analysis of coronial reports to provide meaningful information for generating hypotheses and informing suicide research. Coroners' reports from 414 Indigenous and non-Indigenous suicide cases from the Northern Territory, Australia, were analyzed using Leximancer頳oftware, in a two stage process. Automatic lexical analysis of the text of all reports resulted in the identification of some concepts which were useful for suicide research, but these were overshadowed in the data display by the number of routine procedural terms recurring in all reports. A second stage of the analysis, limited to relevant concepts selected by the researchers revealed useful differentiation between subgroups of a population and concepts for hypothesis generation. The preliminary exploration concluded that lexical analysis of coronial reports can provide a starting point for generating hypotheses relevant to suicide research. While this method provides a certain benefit in providing an overview of large amounts of data and a degree of independence from some a priori assumptions, further in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of data is required to more meaningfully explore the circumstances of suicide cases.
Advances in Mental Health
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health