The Heavy Metal Subculture and Suicide

Authors

  • Steven Stack PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Steven Stack is at Wayne State University. Jim Gundlach is at Auburn University. Jimmie L. Reeves is at the University of Michigan.
      Address correspondence to Steven Stack, PhD, Department of Sociology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202.
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  • Jim Gundlach PhD,

    1. Steven Stack is at Wayne State University. Jim Gundlach is at Auburn University. Jimmie L. Reeves is at the University of Michigan.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jimmie L. Reeves PhD

    1. Steven Stack is at Wayne State University. Jim Gundlach is at Auburn University. Jimmie L. Reeves is at the University of Michigan.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Steven Stack, PhD, Department of Sociology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202.

Abstract

The impact of the heavy metal music subculture on suicide has been the subject of much public debate but little scholarly research. The present paper assesses this relationship with data on heavy metal magazine subscriptions and youth suicide in the 50 states. We find that, controlling for other predictors of suicide, the greater the strength of the metal subculture, the higher the youth suicide rate. The music perhaps nurtures suicidal tendencies already present in the subculture. The model explains 51% of the variance in youth suicide.

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