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Author(s) Schmidtke, Armin
Schaller, Sylvia
Müller, Ingrid
Lester, David
Stack, Steven
Year 2002
Title Imitation von Amok und Amok-Suizid
Published in Suizidprophylaxe, Vol. 29, No. 3
Pages 97–106
Also published in Wolferdorfer, Manfred & Wedler, Hans (eds.): Terroristen-Suizide und Amok; S. Roderer-Verlag, Regensburg, 2002. (pp. 91-112)
ISBN 9783897833128
Also published in McIntosh, John L. (ed.): Suicide 2002 - Proceedings of the 35th annual conference of the American Association of suicidology; American Association of Suicidology, Washington, D.C., 2005. (pp. 205–209)
as Imitation of Amok and Amok-Suicide
Link [1]
Abstract In the scientific literature there is no doubt that imitation effects on aggression and suicide exist. The reporting or portrayal of aggressive or suicidal behaviour might be influental in the short and long term. Previous data suggest that also amok behaviour might be imitated. An analysis of reports in major national and international newspapers as well as relevant material about 143 amok events committed by 144 males and one female, average age 35,2 years for the time period 1993 - 2001 showed that the majority of amok events are not distributed by chance over time. Most amok events follow an other event in a period of time which is within the frame given by many studies of imitation: 10 days in PHILLIPS studies (1974, 1985), 18 days in the study by SCHMIDKE & HÄFNER (1988ab). This uneven distribution speaks for a possible trigger effect. There are also examples of a strong similariy between the events with regard to the "modus operandi" and various person variables as already shown by CANTOR & SHEEHAN (1996). Therefore, it may be dangerous to report about amok events in a sensational way. The reporting may trigger the same attitude and behaviour in persons who found themselves in a similar state of mood.
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