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Archives of Suicide Research

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 187–198 | Cite as

Celebrity suicide: Did the death of Kurt Cobain influence young suicides in Australia?

  • Graham Martin
  • Lisa Koo
Article

Abstract

This study examined the total rate of suicide in Australia for young people (aged 15–19 and 20–24 years) for the 30 day period after the announcement of Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994, comparing with the identical period for the previous five years and accounting for unequal variability in weekends, Mondays and public holidays. The 1994 rates for male suicides for both age groups were lower than for 1992 and 1993, and were more similar to the 1990 rates. Female rates showed a steady small decline over the five years, sustained in 1994. Rates overall showed a reduction in all of the first five, ten and fifteen day rates, compared with previous years. There was no evidence of any increase in deaths from gunshot, the method used by Cobain. The conclusion appears to be that this celebrity suicide had little impact on suicide in young persons in Australia. Possible reasons for this are discussed.

celebrity suicide influence Kurt Cobain media 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Martin
    • 1
  • Lisa Koo
    • 2
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Mental Health ServicesFlinders Medical CentreAdelaide
  2. 2.Flinders University Medical SchoolAdelaideAustralia

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