A dose-response relationship of imitational suicides with newspaper distribution
Publication: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Keywords: Europe Werther effect contagion firearm suicide media
Bibliographic information +
This is a one-page article on suicide contagion following newspaper publicity of the gun suicide of a minor celebrity in Vienna. The readership of a tabloid that sensationalized the death was compared to changes in the frequency of suicide by firearm in regions. Regions with low readership of the tabloid had no cases of suicide in the three weeks following the incident, whereas when comparing the weeks before and after the suicide in regions with high readership of the tabloid, gun suicides tripled from 5 to 15 suicides. It is unclear whether any potential confounders were controlled for, but the article adds to other research arguing for moderate reporting of suicides in mass media.
Etzersdorfer, E., Voracek, M., & Sonneck, G. (2001). A dose-response relationship of imitational suicides with newspaper distribution. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 35(2), 251-251.
Etzersdorfer, Elmar, Martin Voracek, and Gernot Sonneck. "A Dose-Response Relationship of Imitational Suicides with Newspaper Distribution." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 35.2 (2001): 251-51.