Media impacts on suicide: A quantitative review of 293 findings

Authors
Citation
S. Stack, Media impacts on suicide: A quantitative review of 293 findings, SOC SCI Q, 81(4), 2000, pp. 957-971
Citations number
59
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY
ISSN journal
0038-4941 → ACNP
Volume
81
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
957 - 971
Database
ISI
SICI code
0038-4941(200012)81:4<957:MIOSAQ>2.0.ZU;2-X
Abstract
Objective. The literature on the possible impact of publicized suicide stor ies on suicide in the real world has been marked by considerable debate and inconsistent findings. Methods. The present study analyzes 293 findings fr om forty-two studies on the subject which were published between 1974 and 1 996. Results. A logistic regression analysis determined that characteristic s of the stories were key predictors of finding a copycat effect. Studies m easuring the presence of either an entertainment or political celebrity sui cide were 14.3 times more likely to find a copycat effect than studies that did not. Studies based on real stories as opposed to fictional stories wer e 4.03 times more apt to uncover an imitation effect. The medium of coverag e was a significant predictor of copycat effects with televised stories bei ng 82 percent less likely to affect suicide than newspaper-based stories. S ome evidence was found for period effects, and stories were linked more oft en to the incidence of suicide attempts than suicide completions. The model correctly classified 79 percent of the 293 findings. Conclusions. Methodol ogical differences among studies are strong predictors of differences in th eir findings..