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Research Trends

Suicide and the Media

Part I: Reportage in Nonfictional Media

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1027//0227-5910.22.4.146

Summary: Numerous studies have considered the association between media reporting and portrayal of suicide and actual suicidal behavior or ideation. This review considered 42 studies that have examined the nonfiction media (newspapers, television, and books). Consideration was given to the extent to which inferences could be made about the relationship between portrayal of suicide in the given media and actual suicidal behavior in terms of: the strength of its association; and the extent to which it could be considered causal. The review demonstrated that there is an association between nonfictional media portrayal of suicide and actual suicide. The association satisfies sufficient of the criteria of consistency, strength, temporality, specificity and coherence for it to be deemed causal.

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