A reanalysis of the impact of non celebrity suicides. A research note

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1990 Sep;25(5):269-73. doi: 10.1007/BF00788648.


Previous work on suicide and the media has neglected theoretical issues. Some work has implied that only celebrity suicides can be expected to trigger additional suicides in the real world. The present study focuses on non celebrity suicides. Correcting coding errors in a previous work, it finds that the suicides of non celebrities are associated with increases in the national suicide rate. An index of publicized celebrity suicide stories was, however, more closely associated to increases in suicide than the publicized non celebrity stories. The model explains 90 percent of the variance in monthly suicide rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior*
  • Incidence
  • Newspapers as Topic*
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology