Clipped From Tyrone Daily Herald
TV Solcld« Cov«rag« Increates Teenagers' Suicide Rate BOSTON (UPI) - TIMsuioki* rate among teenagers increases following television coverage of suicides In the form of news stories, general discussions of the subject or, even fictional movies, two new studies show. "I am convinced the networks meant to do something positive," said Madelyn Gould ot Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, who conducted one of two new studies on the subject. "But good intentions can backfire." The researchers said they concluded youths were imitating what they saw on TV after statistically eliminating every other possible explanation for an overall Increase In killer in that age group. . In his study, Phillips reviewed 12,585 teen suicides that occurred nationwide from 1*7.1 to l«79 among those ages 10 through l» to determine when they occurred In relation to 38 news or feature stories about suicide aired on the networks. . The number of teen suicides Increased an average of 6,8? percent after each broadcast - an average of 2.M more teenage suicides occurred after each report than were expected - for a total ofllO additional teen suicides, in the second study, researchers compared the number of suicides and attempted suicides by teenagers in the New York are* in the two weeks before and after four fictional films on suicide aired In IttM and 1985. • There were an average of 22 suicide attempts in the twoweek periods after the four broadcasts compared with an average of only 14 in the period before. In addition, there were a total of 13 suicides after three of the broadcasts while only 7.4 were expected. Projected nationwide, that would mean there were an extra so teenage suicide deaths. There was no Increase |n suicides following the fourth movie, which made extensive use'of educational materials and focused on the affect of the death on the family instead of the suicide victim.