Celebrity suicide: Did the death of Kurt Cobain influence young suicides in Australia?
ABSTRACT This study examined the total rate of suicide in Australia for young people (aged 15–19 and 20–24 years) for the 30 day period after the announcement of Kurt Cobain''s suicide in 1994, comparing with the identical period for the previous five years and accounting for unequal variability in weekends, Mondays and public holidays. The 1994 rates for male suicides for both age groups were lower than for 1992 and 1993, and were more similar to the 1990 rates. Female rates showed a steady small decline over the five years, sustained in 1994. Rates overall showed a reduction in all of the first five, ten and fifteen day rates, compared with previous years. There was no evidence of any increase in deaths from gunshot, the method used by Cobain. The conclusion appears to be that this celebrity suicide had little impact on suicide in young persons in Australia. Possible reasons for this are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Taking into account that several international studies suggest a correlation between music preference, especially for heavy metal, and suicide, this study aimed at to know the association of music preference with potential indicators of suicide risk. METHODS: Participants were two hundred undergraduate students from a public University in João Pessoa city (Brazil). They were 22 years old (SD = 4.77). They answered the Shorted Test of Music Preference, which measures the music preference with respect to fourteen music genres, and the Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL), which intents to know the reasons for living reported by people. RESULTS: Results indicated the total score of the RFL correlated itself with the preference for the music genres named as conventional (positive) and alternative (negative). Moreover, the preference for conventional genre was a predictor of lower suicide risk among youths. CONCLUSIONS: This research demonstrates the importance of one more variable, in the present work the music preference, to understand the suicidal risk between young persons. However, other studies must be carried out in the Brazilian context so that it is possible to understand better this relation.Jornal brasileiro de psiquiatria 12/2008; 58(1):26-33.
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ABSTRACT: This study investigated the nature of media coverage of a national entertainer's suicide and its impact on subsequent suicides. After the celebrity suicide, the number of suicide-related articles reported surged around 80 times in the week after the suicide compared with the week prior. Many articles (37.1%) violated several critical items on the World Health Organization suicide reporting guidelines, like containing a detailed suicide method. Most gender and age subgroups were at significantly higher risk of suicide during the 4 weeks after the celebrity suicide. Results imply that massive and noncompliant media coverage of a celebrity suicide can cause a large-scale copycat effect.Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 07/2014; 44(4). DOI:10.1111/sltb.12109 · 1.40 Impact Factor
Article: Suicide and the media[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Around 100 studies have been conducted to examine the ‘Werther effect’ – the phenomenon whereby there is an increased rate of completed or attempted suicide following the depiction of an individual’s suicide in the media. These ‘media influence studies’ provide strong evidence for the existence of the Werther effect in the news media, and equivocal evidence for its existence in the entertainment media. Having established this, there is now a need to complement these media influence studies with inter-related studies that draw on approaches from a range of disciplines, particularly that of communication. The studies can be thought of as investigating the full spectrum of news and entertainment media processes and content, from how suicide stories are produced (news/entertainment production studies), to what information they contain and how this is framed (content analysis studies), to how this information is received and perceived (audience reception studies). This will assist in explicating the mechanisms by which the Werther effect might operate, and in designing and evaluating interventions to improve the practices of news and entertainment media professionals.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 8(7):269–271. DOI:10.1016/j.mppsy.2009.04.009 · 4.31 Impact Factor