Seggi’s interdisciplinary evaluation of this serious topic is a necessary addition to the research on youth and their sensitive roles in American culture. Taking perspectives from the fields of film studies, media literacy, sociology, psychology, and public health, the analysis is both precise and proactive, offering an insightful accounting of trends and influences related to teen suicide while building an effective model for understanding youth media and empowering this vulnerable population. The book is thus essential as both a unique intellectual resource and a pedagogical tool that will serve teachers and students alike.

 — Timothy Shary, Author of Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema, Co-editor of ReFocus: The Films of John Hughes

Located at the intersection of sociology, media studies, and psychology, Alessandra Seggi’s Youth and Suicide in American Cinema: Context, Causes, and Consequences offers a methodologically rigorous, theoretically rich, and comprehensive analysis of suicide in films about youth. It is an important contribution to the growing literature about representations of adolescence in cinema.

— Robert C. Bulman, Professor, Sociology Saint Mary’s College of California, Author of Hollywood Goes to High School: Cinema, Schools, and American Culture

A fresh look at youth suicide through the lens of the cinema. The text first places the emer- gence of the genre of youth suicide films in the larger context of the developments of film and youth in society, in general. It provides useful typologies to classify patterns in the films. These include uneasy relationships between the protagonists and adults such as parents, teachers and the police, disinterestedness/nihilism, mental angst, trauma including rape, violence, the protagonist as the new kid in town, and, importantly, the nature of ripple effects of suicides on their significant others. The book also has materials to assist the audience in interpreting the often unbalanced or contradictory messages in the films.

— Dr. Steven Stack, Former Professor, Wayne State University, now President Center for Suicide Research, a non profit Corporation, Troy, MI

As a film studies professor and a youth crisis counselor for The Trevor Project, I can think of no subject that warrants our immediate attention more than the mental health of America’s youth. Through her comprehensive research and insightful textual analysis, Alessandra Seggi uncovers the dual role classical and contemporary texts have played in perpetuating and chal- lenging the myths surrounding youth suicide. The result is an intensive, illuminating, and long overdue study of a complex, important issue.

— Stephen Tropiano, Author of The Prime Time Closet

Suicide is a complex multi-dimensional malaise. Dr. Alessandra Seggi, in her new book, provides an absolutely breakthrough lens on suicide at the cinema, from a micro (Shneidman) to a macro (Durkheim) perspective. Highlighting the common simplistic, reductionistic, and often suicidogenic view from Hollywood, she moves our understanding towards a more real painful multifarious labyrinth, most notably in Archie’s Final Project. Not only does Dr. Seggi shed new light on her subject, but also offers evidence-based prevention strategies in film.

— Dr. Antoon A. Leenaars, Author of The Psychological Autopsy: A Roadmap for Uncovering the Barren Bones of the Suicide’s Mind

Seggi offers and insightful, compelling and exhaustive examination of the complex relation- ships between art, society, culture, morality and the framing of youth suicide. An invaluable resource for youth studies, the arts, human services, and classical sociology.

— Donna Gaines, Ph.D., Author of Teenage Wasteland, A Misfit’s Manifesto, and Why the Ramones Matter

Suicide continues to be a major mental health problem, especially for youth. This book sheds light on the causes of suicide as depicted in films geared toward youth. It clearly identifies contributing social factors about how youth suicide is portrayed. This is an important book that is written in an understandable manner while addressing significant social issues that remain in the mind of the reader to seriously ponder. The book is thoroughly researched and provides the reader with a wealth of information. This is a major contribution to social science literature.

— Janet Michello, Associate Professor of Sociology, LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York, Co-author of A Sociology of Mental Illness

From a strategic point of view, this book addresses one of the major challenges of our times: understanding suicide risk among youths. The author guides the reader through an engaging tour of realities, complexities, societal challenges, and family matters, pointing to the multi- factorial essence of suicide, yet planted over the suffering of the mind. The author analyses all kinds of aspects, from classic movies to recent controversial serials. Read this book to explore suicide in its essence, through words, phrases, images that allow a better understanding of this human phenomenon and contribute to prevention.

— Maurizio Pompili, Recipient of the American Association of Suicidology’s 2008 Edwin S. Shneidman Award, for outstanding contributions in research in suicidology, Full Professor of Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Alessandra Seggi confronts youth suicide – a crucial issue of our time – through an inter- disciplinary examination of its representation in teen films from the 1920s through Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Seggi’s work culminates with an articulation of media literacy strategies that can be used by media consumers (especially adolescents and those who teach them) to pro- actively interrogate and interpret the representation of teen suicide in filmic texts. Youth and Suicide in American Cinema is an empowering text on an oft-overlooked topic.

— MJ Robinson, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Television, Radio & Emerging Media, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Alessandra Seggi’s monograph focuses on the representations of suicide in youth films, which are defined as “movies about, for, and by youth.” Although scholars have tended to overlook such representations, Seggi’s ultimate aim is to analyze and understand them with a view toward providing proactive interventions that include media literacy strategies that enable thoughtful interpretation. The book has an encyclopedic breadth, with attention to youth films from the silent movie era to the present, and to the tropes and themes that animate their depic- tions of suicide, all of which are carefully identified and explained. Likewise, throughout the volume, Seggi meticulously defines the terms and concepts that inform her analyses. In addi- tion to useful references to important aspects of film history, storytelling, and formal strategies, which help to inform her analyses, Seggi, a sociologist, deploys a much-needed multidisciplinary approach that includes both quantitative content analyses and qualitative analyses of an expansive 187-title filmography. The selection of film titles is both systematic and comprehensive, and Seggi’s work promises to be an enduring and productive contribution to social scientific and humanities discourses about suicide and media representations of youth. Indeed, it fills a significant gap in scholarship about such depictions and, equally importantly, offers practical and proactive media literacy strategies to facilitate informed critical thinking about them that will be welcome to scholars, teachers, mental health professionals, and students.

— Cynthia Felando, Department of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, Author of Discovering Short Films: The History and Style of Live-Action Fiction Shorts

Seggi’s book offers a fascinating, multidisciplinary, and highly personal examination of sui- cide in American youth cinemas. The volume spans decades of American filmmaking, from Rebel Without a Cause in 1955 to Heathers, and Netflix’s recent series 13 Reasons Why. Drawing from approaches in sociology, media studies and cultural studies, Youth and Suicide presents a remarkable intervention for the study of youth, suicide, and American cinema alike.

— Frances SmithSenior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Sussex, Author of Rethinking the Hollywood Teen Movie: Gender, Genre and Identity, Co-editor of ReFocus: The Films of John Hughes