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Media coverage of celebrity suicide can cause large-scale copycat effect

Date:
September 2, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Researchers who analyzed media coverage of the suicide of a national actress in South Korea and its impact on subsequent suicides found that the number of suicide-related articles surged around 80 times in the week after a suicide compared with the week prior.

Researchers who analyzed media coverage of the suicide of a national actress in South Korea and its impact on subsequent suicides found that the number of suicide-related articles surged around 80 times in the week after a suicide compared with the week prior.

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Many articles (37.1%) violated several critical items on the World Health Organization suicide reporting guidelines, like containing a detailed suicide method. The investigators estimated that there were approximately 430 excess suicides during the 4 weeks after her death due to media coverage.

"This figure is the largest record of cases relating to copycat suicides that has been reported to academic journals," said Weon-Young Lee, co-author of the Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior study. "Most gender and age subgroups were at significantly higher risk of suicide.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. JeSuk Lee, Weon-Young Lee, Jang-Sun Hwang, Steven John Stack. To What Extent Does the Reporting Behavior of the Media Regarding a Celebrity Suicide Influence Subsequent Suicides in South Korea? Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12109

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Media coverage of celebrity suicide can cause large-scale copycat effect." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902151127.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, September 2). Media coverage of celebrity suicide can cause large-scale copycat effect. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902151127.htm
Wiley. "Media coverage of celebrity suicide can cause large-scale copycat effect." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902151127.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

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