Television and Teen Suicide: More Than a Coincidence?

Nutrition Health Review, Spring 1992 | Go to article overview

Television and Teen Suicide: More Than a Coincidence?


Hershey, PA. Does watching television fill a teenager's mind with thoughts of suicide?

Perhaps.

A psychiatrist at Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has found that the explosive rise of television in the last four decades has dramatically matched the rise in American teen suicide rates.

Paul Kettl, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, and his co-workers have discovered that for every 100,000 Americans, the number of televisions in use, the number of households with televisions, and the number of families with more than one television set all correlated very highly with the rise in yearly suicide rates among 15-to 24-year-olds between 1950 and 1988.

"This study doesn't prove that there is necessarily a causal link between teen suicide rise and TV watching," Kettl says, "though I believe there is some."

The researchers also found the suicide-television link was even stronger than correlations of the age group's suicide rates and total drug, alcohol, marijuana or cocaine use as determined by six National Institute on Drug Abuse surveys or fourteen Senior High Student Surveys between 1974 and 1988.

But while television, with its unquestionably violent content, has been a powerful social force in American culture, Kettl says, it's hardly the only factor at work. He cites the demise of the American family - the rise in two-parent working families and rising divorce rates, for example, and the increasing drug and alcohol use among young people, as other role players. Teenage depression also has skyrocketed in the last several decades, he points out, an obvious reason for the increasing suicides.

"I think it can all be drawn together," he says. Any factor that could separate a person from his family would probably lead to a rise in suicide rates."

With the typical American household playing television an average of seven hours daily, Kettl points out that television captures most kids' attention for at least several hours a day. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Television and Teen Suicide: More Than a Coincidence?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.