An Exploration of the Werther Effect in the Argentine Republic

Eliana Roguznicki, Sofia Aune


The purpose of this study is to explore the possible influence of the media on suicidal behavior in Argentina, a phenomenon known as the Werther effect. Considering that the official statistics of suicide in the country analyzed are not reliable, we analyzed the data available in the Suicide Assistance Center (CAS), taking as a reference variable suicidal ideation, expressed through calls received and visits to the site website of the institution. Our hypothesis focuses on considering that in the face of irresponsible treatment of the subject of suicide by the media, suicidal ideation would increase. The events that we take into account to carry out the analysis are the premiere of the first and second seasons of the series For Thirteen Reasons and the suicide of Rocío Gancedo, a figure recognized by the media for his participation in the television program "Big Brother 2011" . The results show the statistically significant existence of a Werther effect, especially in the long term, but considering that there are other factors that influence the data available in the CAS, these results are exploratory and preliminary. Suicide is a public health problem, ranking second and third for causes of death in adolescents and adults respectively; therefore, we believe that additional studies are required to investigate the causes, correlates, and prevention programs. Finally, we share the guidelines for media professionals recommended by the World Health Organization.


suicide; Werther effect, media


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