“The Effect of Country Music on Suicide”

I recently spotted this quote on our friend interrobang’s blog:

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. — Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach, “The Effect of Country Music on Suicide,” Social Forces, September 1992 71(1):211-218

(To which she commented: Yeah, I always said country music made me unsure whether I wanted to kill myself or someone else. — ?! A reaction I can totally sympathize with, at least for the classic “my wife left me, my truck broke down, and my dog died” school of country music that my adoptive father preferred.)

Apparently it’s a real paper, too. There are a few more curious ones here as well.


  1. There’s a pretty high suicide rate in NYC, and there isn’t even a country music station in NYC, not one! (Which is unfortunate, I actually miss the stuff sometimes.)

  2. If I had to live in NYC, I’d contemplate suicide too. No country music station required. 😉

  3. Too many people in too small a space. I don’t like being around people to begin with.

  4. Reminds me of a bumper sticker I’ve seen: “The more people I meet, the more I like my cats.” 😉

  5. I’d normally disagree vehemently, but our cat Winston has gotten it into his less-than-capacious skull that he doesn’t want to use the litter box anymore. Again. We rub his nose in it, and after a couple times he just gets the idea that he’s not supposed to go there, and picks another inappropriate spot. Usually in front of a door. We’ve finally convinced him not to crap in other places, now we’re working on where he’s allowed to pee.

    For some reason, we go through this with him once every few years. You’d think by age nine he’d have learned, but he’s our “special” child.

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