How Does Media Influence Suicide-Related Cognitions? : 뉴스 미디어의 자살 보도가 수용자의 자살 인지에 미치는 영향

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사회과학대학 언론정보학과
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서울대학교 대학원
SuicideTheory of Planned BehaviorMediaSuicidal CognitionSuicidal IdeationAttitudeSelf-efficacyInjunctive NormDescriptive Norm
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 사회과학대학 언론정보학과, 2017. 8. 이철주.
This study seeks to examine the mechanism by which the media affects individuals suicidal cognitions and behavior by observing the psychological factors through utilization of both newspaper content analysis and a nationally representative survey.

Study 1 included a content analysis of suicide news coverage in South Korea. Data included suicide-related news stories sampled from a total of 19 news outlets between August and September 2016. A content analysis of suicide-related news sample was conducted with respect to attitude, self-efficacy, descriptive norm, and injunctive norm. A total of 481 news stories were retrieved. Near half of the news stories (40.5%) contained information that would either directly or indirectly affect readers perception of suicidal self-efficacy (ease, difficulty, method, place, source of help, source that promotes suicide)
specifically, about 36.59% of news stories seemed to contain information that positively affects suicidal self-efficacy and about 3.53% of news stories contained information that negatively affects suicidal self-efficacy.

Approximately one third of news articles (32.8%) contained information that influences readers perception of descriptive norm regarding suicide. News stories usually depicted numbers or statistics that point at an increasing trend or high rate of suicide in South Korea. Further, about a quarter of the sample (21.2%) included information that affects readers injunctive social norm about suicide
in particular, 19.96% of articles conveyed disapproval of suicide while mere 1.25% portrayed negative injunctive norm regarding suicide (Referent others approval/ disapproval, general others approval/ disapproval). Only 4.3% of news stories seemed to contain information related to positive or negative outcome of committing a suicide
to specify, 2.1% of the sample depicted positive outcome and 2.3% depicted negative outcome.

In study 2, this study aimed to empirically test the relationship between the media contents and variables of the Theory of Planned Behavior by conducting a nationally representative survey between August 19, 2017 and October 5, 2017. Study participants consisted of 2,000 adults.

The survey results showed that the media exposure is positively related to all four TPB variables: attitude, self-efficacy, injunctive social norms, and descriptive social norms. Media exposure was positively related to suicide attitude, suicide self-efficacy injunctive social norms, and descriptive social norms, after controlling for sociodemographic, individual and family/ friend suicide history, and mental health status.

The cross-sectional test was examined through hierarchical multiple regression predicting suicidal intention. After controlling other variables, the significant final beta of all of the TPB variables showed that attitude, self-efficacy, suicide injunctive norm, and suicide descriptive norm was each positively related to suicide intention.

Although media guidelines caution against depicting information related to self-efficacy and descriptive norm toward suicide, there were considerably high frequency of related information. Despite the fact that self-efficacy most heavily influences suicide intention, the results of content analysis show that almost half of the news stories in the sample contained information that affects self-efficacy toward suicide. Although the effect size is very small, if an individual is exposed to suicide information through the media, the fact that there is a significant positive relationship between media exposure and suicide intention seems to be worrisome.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Dept. of Communication (언론정보학과)Theses (Master's Degree_언론정보학과)
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