Does country music increase suicide rates?

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.

Source: “The Effect of Country Music on Suicide” from Social Forces, Vol. 71, No. 1. (Sep., 1992), pp. 211-218.

Hat tip: Garth Sundem

In the past I posted that 1 in 5 country music songs refers to alcohol and 1 in 3 to tears so that may be part of the content issue the authors are referring to.

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