Social contagion, violence, and suicide among adolescents

Image credit: Clay Banks


The mechanisms underlying the contagion effect of violence and suicide are currently unclear. It has been argued that social learning, identification with significant others, and the normalization of specific norms play a role. All these mechanisms require understanding social contagion as a complex interaction between individual, relational and social factors. This is key if the social contagion perspective is to be used not only to investigate negative outcomes, but also as a framework for promoting prosocial attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, more research is needed on psychosocial interventions and public policies to minimize the potential spillover effect of violence and suicide.

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Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 36