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Arch Suicide Res. 2013;17(4):448-61. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2013.801810.

Suicide by cop: clinical risks and subtypes.

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a Department of Psychology , John Jay College of Criminal Justice , New York , New York , USA.


This study examines whether clinical classification schemes from general suicide research are applicable for cases of suicide by cop (SbC) and whether there are indicators as to why the police might be engaged in the suicide. Using archival law enforcement data, 13 clinical risks were examined among 68 cases of SbC using exploratory factor analysis and k-means cluster analysis. Three subtypes of SbC cases emerged: Mental Illness, Criminality, and Not Otherwise Specified. The subtypes varied significantly on their levels of mental illness, substance use, and criminal activity. Findings suggest that reducing fragmentation between law enforcement and mental health service providers might be a crucial goal for suicide intervention and prevention, at least among cases of SbC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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