The impact of rock videos and music with suicidal content on thoughts and attitudes about suicide

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Summer 2003;33(2):120-31. doi: 10.1521/suli.


In Experiment 1, 133 college student volunteers watched a rock music video with or without suicidal content and then completed written measures assessing mood, priming of suicide-related thoughts, perceptions of personal risk, sensitivity to suicidality in others, and attitudes/beliefs about suicide. In Experiment 2, 104 college student volunteers listened to rock music with either suicidal or neutral content and then completed measures similar to Experiment 1, with the addition of a hopelessness measure. In both experiments, participants exposed to suicidal content wrote more scenarios with suicide-related themes in a projective storytelling task than those exposed to nonsuicidal content. However, there were virtually no group differences on explicit measures of affect, attitudes, and perceptions. Music and videos with suicide content appeared to prime implicit cognitions related to suicide but did not affect variables associated with increased suicide risk.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Music*
  • Social Facilitation*
  • Students / psychology
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Video Recording*