Psychological autopsy and its application in suicide research
WU Cai-Zhi; CHEN Yan; SUN Qi-Wu; YU Li-Xia; JIANG Guang-Rong
(Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyber psychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, School of Psychology, Central China Normal University and Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430079, China)
Abstract： Psychological autopsy (PA) is a systematic and retrospective method in order to figure out the risk factors of suicide. Collecting materials from the informants and the proxy respondents of the deceased, Psychological autopsy could reconstruct the physical, psychological and social state of the deceased. Studies have shown that psychological autopsy is one of the most valuable tools for suicide research. This paper systematically introduces the research method of psychological autopsy, and its applications in the field of suicide research. Consequently, the paper discusses the research advancement on the risk factors of suicide using the method of psychological autopsy. Further studies should be carried out from a culturally sensitive perspective. It is also necessary to implement the method of psychological autopsy to explore the complex interaction among the multiple risk factors of suicide.