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Reassessing the Link between Country Music and Suicide

Edward R. Maguire and Jeffrey B. Snipes
Social Forces
Vol. 72, No. 4 (Jun., 1994), pp. 1239-1243
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580301
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580301
Page Count: 5
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Reassessing the Link between Country Music and Suicide
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Abstract

In their article assessing the link between country music airtime and metropolitan suicide rates, Stack and Gundlach (1992) found that the greater the airtime devoted to country music, the greater the white suicide rate. Employing ordinary least squares regression, they controlled for the effects of divorce, southernness, poverty, and gun availability. Their model accounts for 51% of the variance in urban white suicide rates. The authors interpret their findings as evidence that country music may "nurture a suicidal mood" (215), though they acknowledge that their model does not explain black suicide rates. In an attempt to replicate their suicide model for whites, we used the same data and methods. Our results indicate that country music - both bivariately and multivariately - has a negative, though insignificant effect on white urban suicide rates.

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