Over the past decade, the suicide rate among American teens has risen sharply. The trend has made TV shows like “13 Reasons Why” – which depicted a suicide in its first season – an easy target for public health advocates. The media backlash against the series intensified earlier this year when a study suggested suicides spiked a month after its release.

But establishing a connection between media and real-life violence has always been difficult. Psychology researchers Emily Lund and Michael Nadorff sift through the raft of studies on the relationship between suicide and “13 Reasons Why” to see if the handwringing is justified. Or should media critics concerned about suicide set their sights elsewhere?

Also today:

Top story

It’s impossible to conduct truly causal research on media consumption and suicide. Stephen Mcsweeny/Shutterstock.com

Is it even possible to connect ‘13 Reasons Why’ to teen suicide?

Emily Lund, University of Alabama; Michael R. Nadorff, Mississippi State University

Over the past decade, more teens have attempted suicide. The trend has vexed researchers, but it's that much more difficult to determine whether a fictional TV show has had any role.

Economy + Business

Health + Medicine

Environment + Energy

  • Caribbean fish love catastrophic hurricanes

    Thomas J. Kwak, North Carolina State University; Alonso Ramirez, North Carolina State University

    Big storms with lots of flooding, like hurricanes Dorian and Maria, actually restore the Caribbean's delicate balance between native and nonnative fish species, new research finds.

Politics + Society


From our International Editions

Today’s chart


Know people who may be interested in The Conversation's stories? Click here to forward this newsletter to them and ask them to sign up at https://theconversation.com/us/newsletter