For the last decade, suicide has been the second leading cause of death among college- aged adults (18-25), which coincides with the widespread proliferation of social media. The aim of this study was to identify if there was a correlation between exposure to suicide-related content via differing media outlets (e.g., social media, television, newspapers, music, and movies) and suicide ideation and attempts among college students and peer groups (i.e., participants’ friends or acquaintances). A convenience sampling method using social media, flyers, and the university’s experiment management system (i.e., SONA) was used to recruit 97 undergraduate students from the University of Central Florida. The mean age of participants was 21.04 (SD=1.84). Approximately 61% of participants identified as women and 29% as men. The racial identities of participants were diverse, with 41% identifying as non- Hispanic Caucasian, 21% African American, 28% Asian, 11% Hispanic, and 8.3% other. Participants were administered an online, 25-item survey that assessed social media use, the influence of social media and perceptions of self, frequency of exposure to suicide-related content (past 12 months), and whether exposure to suicide-related content invoked feelings of discomfort and suicidal thoughts, and intentions to harm oneself (i.e., attempt suicide). Participants were also asked to reflect on their perceptions of peers and whether exposure to suicide-related content invoked negative thoughts or feelings, suicidal ideation, and intentions to kill themselves. Chi-square tests were conducted to examine the association between exposure to suicide-related content and level of distress or perceptions of discomfort, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. Findings suggest an association between exposure to content and feelings of discomfort, χ2(1, N=93)=59.9, p

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Gryglewicz, Kimberley


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health Professions and Sciences


Social Work



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date


Included in

Social Work Commons