The second leading cause of death among adolescents in the U.S. is suicide. It has become an increasing problem in today’s society, for the young and the old. Because of the influence of social media and celebrities, those who are in their adolescent years are more prone to increase their chances of suicide if they see a celebrity, or another adolescent, doing such.
Sang Yup Lee, an assistant professor in Communications at Yonsei University in South Korea, researched the effects that media coverage of adolescent and celebrity suicides had on adolescents. In his research, he examined data collected from South Korea, not the United States or other countries, so the information and results may contain some limitations.
Lee and his team gathered information on media coverage of adolescent and celebrity suicides, as well as articles about suicides. Results found that the weeks following coverage of an adolescent or celebrity suicide increased the number of adolescent suicides.
Because this study was based in South Korea, the number of adolescents affected by suicide in other countries could be higher or lower. The study also used only three major news outlets and did not include information from other TV networks or media outlets.
Regardless of the limitations of this study, the results and the numbers show that suicide is still a major leading cause of death among adolescents. Suicide is still a serious mental and psychological disorder that takes the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year. Positive messages from the media for adolescents can save the life of someone struggling.
To read more, visit: https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2019.1570200
2019 Broadcast Education Association, Journalism of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 63(1), 2019, pp. 130-143