[Social support in suicide forums]

Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2005 Nov;54(9):714-27.
[Article in German]


Suicide forums--interactive forums on the Internet--are attractive to suicidal youth. The question if participation in these forums might be dangerous (because of imitation and contagion) or if it should be considered as helpful (being a chance to talk openly with others) is still discussed controversely. Mutual social support seems to be an important factor. By means of an online survey in German suicide forums and a content analysis of forum postings, we gathered information about this subject. Selected results from our study are presented in this paper. Social support in suicide forums is rated as high as support from friends and higher than support from family. Social support is higher in suicide forums where discussion of suicide methods does not occur. Higher social support in suicide forums correlates with participants' ratings of reduction of suicidality. Furthermore, some information about the contents of communication in suicide forums will be given, based on the results of the content analysis. Results are discussed regarding the potential risks of these forums.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peer Group
  • Self Disclosure
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Social Support*
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires