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The Effect of Country Music on Suicide

Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach
Social Forces
Vol. 71, No. 1 (Sep., 1992), pp. 211-218
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579974
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579974
Page Count: 8
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The Effect of Country Music on Suicide
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Abstract

This article assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates. Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work. The results of a multiple regression analysis of 49 metropolitan areas show that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. The effect is independent of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates.

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