Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Study: Kids' Suicides Spiked After Netflix Series Release
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 5 years ago on
April 30, 2019

Share

Suicides among U.S. kids aged 10 to 17 jumped to a 19-year high in the month following the release of a popular TV series that depicted a girl ending her life, researchers said.
The study published Monday can’t prove that the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” was the cause, but there were 195 more youth suicides than would have been expected in the nine months following the show’s March 2017 release, given historical and seasonal suicide trends, the study estimated.

The results are plausible and add to evidence that compelling media depictions of suicide can negatively influence young people.” — sociologist Anna Mueller 
During April 2017 alone, 190 U.S. tweens and teens took their own lives. Their April 2017 suicide rate was .57 per 100,000 people, nearly 30 percent higher than in the preceding five years included in the study. An additional analysis found that the April rate was higher than in the previous 19 years, said lead author Jeff Bridge, a suicide researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
“The creators of the series intentionally portrayed the suicide of the main character. It was a very graphic depiction of the suicide death,” which can trigger suicidal behavior, Bridge said.

Study’s Limitations Acknowledged

Bridge acknowledged the study’s limitations included not knowing whether anyone who died by suicide had watched the show. Also, the researchers were not able to account for other factors that might have influenced suicides. Those include the April 19, 2017, suicide of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and a man accused of a Facebook-publicized killing who died by suicide the day before Hernandez. Bridge said those deaths couldn’t account for the spike the study found for the entire month of April.
The researchers analyzed data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on deaths in Americans aged 10 to 64 from January 2013 through December 2017. Their results were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The researchers found no change in suicide rates in those 18 and older after the show was released.
The results are plausible and add to evidence that compelling media depictions of suicide can negatively influence young people, said sociologist Anna Mueller of the University of Chicago, who was not involved in the research.

Suicide is 2nd Leading Cause of Death for Teens

Lisa Horowitz, a co-author and researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, noted that suicide is the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens and called it “a major public health crisis.” Her agency helped pay for the study.
Teen suicide rates have increased in recent years and other research has suggested that bullying and heavy use of social media may contribute to the risk.

“This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.” — Netflix spokesperson
Netflix included warning messages with some of the episodes and created a website with crisis hotlines and other resources. In the second season, the show’s actors offered advice to viewers on where to seek help. The series’ third season will run later this year.

Netflix: Study Contradicts Other Findings

A Netflix spokesman noted that the new study conflicts with University of Pennsylvania research published last week that found fewer suicidal thoughts among young adults who watched the entire second season than among non-viewers.
“We’ve just seen the study and are looking into the research,” he said. “This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly.”
Horowitz said the new results highlight how important it is for parents and other adults to connect with young people.
“Start a conversation, ask how are they coping with the ups and downs of life, and don’t be afraid to ask about suicide,” she said. It’s a myth that just asking might be a trigger, Horowitz said.
“One of the best ways to prevent is to ask,” she said.

DON'T MISS

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

DON'T MISS

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

DON'T MISS

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

DON'T MISS

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

DON'T MISS

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

DON'T MISS

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

DON'T MISS

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

DON'T MISS

San Francisco Mayor Announces the City Will Receive Pandas from China

DON'T MISS

49ers to Pick 1st Round for First Time Since 2021

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

UP NEXT

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Savannah Bananas Dominate Social Media, Sell Out Stadiums Nationwide Including Fresno

UP NEXT

Big Names in Rap, Christian Music, and Comedy Headline Must-See Weekend Entertainment

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

UP NEXT

NPR Editor Suspended Over Claims of Network’s ‘Progressive Worldview’

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

3 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

3 hours ago

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

3 hours ago

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

3 hours ago

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

3 hours ago

San Francisco Mayor Announces the City Will Receive Pandas from China

4 hours ago

49ers to Pick 1st Round for First Time Since 2021

4 hours ago

Jury Selection Could Be Nearing a Close in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial in New York

4 hours ago

Finding an Apartment May Be Easier for California Pet Owners Under New Legislation

4 hours ago

Abandoned Pup LB Finds Hope and Healing. He’s Available for Adoption at Mell’s Mutts.

4 hours ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

WASHINGTON  — With rare bipartisan momentum, the House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiw...

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

1 hour ago

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Video /
2 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

3 hours ago

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

3 hours ago

Taylor Swift Drops 15 New Songs on Double Album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’

Central Octane: Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO
3 hours ago

Lamborghini’s Race Evolution: From Tractors to the Track

3 hours ago

Biden Administration Restricts Oil and Gas Leasing in 13 Million Acres of Alaska’s Petroleum Reserve

3 hours ago

Logan Webb’s Seven Dominant Innings Help Giants Blank Diamondbacks

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend