No clear evidence of increase in adolescent suicide following release of ‘13 Reasons Why’


“Our reanalysis casts considerable doubt on the show having an effect on boys,” said author Dan Romer, PhD., research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania and PISC Senior Scholar. Contrary to the findings of a 2019 study that associated the release of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” with an increase in monthly suicide rates among adolescent boys, a reanalysis of the data by the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds no evidence of contagion.

The reanalysis found that the increase in the suicide rate for boys observed in the original study by Bridge and colleagues for three months after the series’ release was no longer evident after controlling for the ongoing trend in adolescent suicide. In addition, the increase seen during the first month of the release began the month prior to the release, making it difficult to attribute the rise to the show. The reanalysis found no effects in the subsequent months of that year.

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