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Arendt, Florian (2018): Suicide rates and information seeking via search engines: A cross-national correlational approach. In: Death Studies, Vol. 42, No. 8: pp. 508-512
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The volume of Google searches for suicide-related terms is positively associated with suicide rates, but previous studies used data from specific, restricted geographical contexts, thus, limiting the generalizability of this finding. We investigated the correlation between suicide-related search volume and suicide rates of 50 nations from five continents. We found a positive correlation between suicide rates and search volume, even after controlling for the level of industrialization. Results give credence to the global existence of a correlation. However, the reason why suicide-related search volume is higher in countries with higher suicide rates is still unclear and up to future research.