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STEVEN STACK, Wayne State University
JIM GUNDLACH, Auburn University
This article assesses the link between country music and metropolitan suicide rates.
Country music is hypothesized to nurture a suicidal mood through its concerns with
problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and
alienation from work. 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. The existence of a country music subculture is thought to reinforce the link
between country music and suicide. Our model explains 51% of the variance in urban
white suicide rates.