Effect of media reporting of the suicide of a singer in Taiwan: The case of Ivy Li

Ying Yeh Chen, Pei Chen Tsai, Pao Huan Chen, Chun Chieh Fan, Galen Chin Lun Hung, Andrew T.A. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Suicide attempters are known to be vulnerable to the influence of media reporting of suicide events. This study investigates possible influences of media reporting of a celebrity suicide on subsequent suicide attempts and associated risk factors among suicide attempters. Methods Sixty-three suicide attempters registered in a surveillance system of Taipei City Suicide Prevention Center were assessed using a structured interview soon after media reporting of the suicide of a young female singing star. Results Forty-three (68%) respondents had encountered with the suicide news. Among them, 37% reported being influenced by the media reporting on their subsequent suicide attempts. Men (adjusted OR 6.36, 95% CI 1.29- 31.44) and younger age groups (adjusted OR 4.93, 95% CI 1.04-23.45) were more susceptible to the media reporting. There was a positive modeling effect in method of suicide (charcoal burning) (adjusted OR 7.27, 95% CI 6.31- 168.66). Conclusions This study has provided further evidence for suicide imitation among vulnerable people encountered with media reporting of celebrity suicide, and for the need to actively restrain reporting of suicides to decrease the imitation effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-369
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Celebrity suicide
  • Imitation
  • Media
  • Suicide attempt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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