A Retrospective Examination of the Content of Violence in Headlines of News Related to Individuals with Mental Disorders

Çiydem E. , Acı Ö. S. , Bilgin H. , Özaslan Z., Tek S.

Archives Of Psychiatric Nursing, ss.1-12, 2020 (SCI Expanded İndekslerine Giren Dergi)

  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Dergi Adı: Archives Of Psychiatric Nursing
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.1-12


Background: Headlines are usually read first. Since headlines are designed to be remarkable and memorable in terms of form and meaning, their impact on the positive or negative attitudes of the society towards individuals with mental illness may be greater than the news texts. Aims: This study aimed to retrospectively examine and analyze the content of violence headlines related to people with mental disorders. Method: The study was designed to examine headlines retrospectively. Six-hundred-ten headlines on the websites of four nationally published newspapers in Turkey were reviewed. Headlines mentioned people with mental disorders and violent events. The News Headline Review Form was used to evaluate the headlines. Descriptive statistics, the chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were used in data analysis. Results: It was determined that violent events in headlines were mostly associated with homicidal behaviors (72%; n = 439), self-harming behaviors (20.2%; n = 123) and exploitation by others (7.8%; n = 40), respectively. The most common actions in headlines were, within the homicidal behaviors, “murder” (30.4%; n = 186); within the self-harming behaviors, “commit suicide” (13.6%; n = 83) and within the exploitation-by-others category, “being murdered” (4.4%; n = 27). People with mental disorders were in an active position in three fourths of the headlines on violence/aggression (77.3%; n = 471). Conclusion: Headlines have the effect of normalizing the relationship between violence and mental disorders, which already exists in society. Portraying violence as a typical part of a mental disorder could create social perceptions that it is the nature of these individuals to exhibit violent behavior.