Introduction: Exposure to suicidal death may cause trauma and change the bereaved family/friends’ attitudes towards suicide and increase their suicide-related behavior. We aimed to examine the life-time prevalence of loss experience among the general population of South Korea, the relationship between attitudes towards suicide and suicidal intensity, and the moderation effect of interest in news media. Methods: After analyzing 2973 structured interviews, we hypothesized structural equation model and conducted a moderation analysis. Results: A total of 10.1% (n = 301) respondents had experienced the suicide of acquaintances. Acceptive attitudes such as “suicide as right” and “suicide as normal-common” were higher in the “experienced” group. All fit indices of the hypothesized model were satisfied, and experience of suicidal loss was positively associated with both acceptive attitudes and suicidal intensity. “Suicide as normal-common” positively affected suicidal intensity, but “suicide as right” was not significant. “Interest in news media” significantly moderated the relationship between loss experience and suicidal intensity. Limitations: Since our study was cross-sectional design, further longitudinal studies are needed to draw casual inferences between factors. We used the at home interview method, which might have resulted underestimated experience of suicidal loss. Conclusion: Our findings showed that experiencing suicide death of any acquaintances could increase individual's acceptance of suicide and also increase the risk of suicide. Frequent exposure to suicide-related news amplified their risk of suicide. To reduce the suicide risk behavior, targeted intervention with those bereaved by suicide and restriction of media reports on suicide news will be needed as prevention strategies.
- Moderation model
- Structural equation model