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NCJ Number: 119432 Find in a Library
Title: Does Television Induce Suicidal Contagion with Adolescents?
Journal: Journal of Community Psychology  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1989)  Pages:166-172
Author(s): K K Steede; L M Range
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 7
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: To determine what adolescents think they would do if they knew of other adolescent suicides, 116 students at a rural public high school viewed a videotaped vignette of a distressed high school student and were asked to imagine they were that student.
Abstract: Following the videotape, students were given information sheets that summarized the vignette. One-third of these sheets contained a sentence that two friends had committed suicide, one-third a sentence that two friends had died in a plane crash, and one-third no added sentence. Students then rated the likelihood that they would engage in such behavioral alternatives as committing suicide, running away, abusing alcohol, driving recklessly, seeking psychological help, trying harder at school, or adapting to the situation. Students were also asked to indicate the extent to which they blamed situational factors described in the vignette (school, friends, alcohol, and parents). Additionally, students completed the Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL). The main difference across student groups was the significantly higher score of the suicide group on the RFL's fear of social disapproval scale. It is concluded that adolescents may not be influenced by news about suicide, or they may just deny such influence. 27 references, 1 table. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile suicide
Index Term(s): Home environment; Peer influences on behavior; Social conditions; Students; Suicide causes
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