Vividness in Portrayals and Disclaimers on Depression and Suicide

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Communication


Department of Commuication


Advisor: Angeline Sangalang

Second Advisor

Advisor: James Robinson

Third Advisor

Advisor: Brittany Beckner


The present investigation examines the impact of vividness in portrayals of suicide on empathy, perceived and personal mental health stigma, and help-seeking (treatment) intentions. Through the theoretical frameworks of framing and inoculation, the study examined the impact of vividness in both entertainment portrayals of suicide and the warning messages that precede them. More specifically, the study explored the potential for vividness to impact empathy and sympathy along with stigma (through message framing) and the potential for vividness to increase help-seeking warning messages (through inoculation). With the increase of portrayals of suicide in mass media, this study examines one such portrayal from the Netflix television series, 13 Reasons Why, to provide recommendations for future portrayals.


Communication, Health, Vividness, Framing, Inoculation, 13 Reasons Why, Media Effects, Suicide

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2019, author