Steven Stack


Criminal Justice

Dr. Steven Stack is the author of 336 articles & Chapters, and 4 books. These focus on the social risk and protective factors for suicide such as media effects (copycat impacts, cinematic portrayals), economic strain (unemployment, job demotion), religiousness as a key protective factor, and marital strain (divorce). Publications include ones in high impact journals including Psychological Medicine, J. of Epidemiology & Community Health, American Sociological Review, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Health & Social Behavior, American Journal of Public Health, Social Forces, Social Science and Medicine, & Criminology. His work has received over 12,300 citations according to data in Google Scholar. It has been supported by grants from NIMH & the Guggenheim Foundation. Recent invited plenary addresses include ones in Tokyo, Seoul, Glasgow, & Bay of Islands, New Zealand. He ranks in the top 20 suicide researchers of 500 world suicide specialists ranked in the in the Web of Science. He has served on over 20 federal Grant Review Panels including Centers for Disease Control, Canadian Council on the Arts, NIMH, Military Suicide Research Consortium/U.S. Department of Defense, Israeli Science Foundation, Austrian Science & Technology Fund, & U.S.  National Science Foundation. He serves on the editorial board of Archives of Suicide Research, Crisis: Journal of Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention, and Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. Dr Stack is a sought after reviewer. He has helped shape the future directions of suicide research.  In the last 15 years he has reviewed over 700 manuscripts for over 110 different scientific journals.  He served for five years on the Advisory Board of the University of Michigan's Injury Center, and currently on the Michigan National Violent Death Reporting System, & the Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention. Stack’s work has been the subject of over 200 interviews with the international media including London Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Newsweek, USA Today, New York Times, New Scientist, and BBC radio. His mentees include those at R1 universities in the US and Europe. Dr. Stack received the Louis Dublin Award from the American Association of Suicidology for lifetime contributions to suicide research in 2003. He is the 2017 recipient of the Erwin Stengel Award, given by the International Association for Suicide Prevention for outstanding research & International prestige.

Research Interest/Area of Expertise

  • Social risk and protective factors for suicide, including economic strain, marital strain, dangerous media coverage, & hegemonic masculinity as risk factors and religiousness, social support, & minority ethnicity  as protective factors.

  • Cultural Axes of Nations and link to Public Opinion on Criminality and Deviance

    Religiousness and suicide prevention

    Impact of the death penalty on homicide

    Scholarship of Teaching: Empirical Predictors of Learning; Cheating Inhibitors in Online Instruction

    Measurement and predictors of research productivity

  • Presentation of suicide in art: American, British, Korean, & Japanese feature films; classics of world literature; Western visual art.


Dr. Stack's current research projects include collaborations with both networks of established suicide scholars and new suicide scholars and graduate students. These ongoing projects include: (1.) Medical University of Vienna (with Drs. Niederkrotenthaler & Till, updated Meta Analysis of our previously published review of Media Impacts on Suicide (J of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2012). (2). Medical University of Vienna. Editing and completion of a multi media presentation and film shot by us  on location in the Black Forest, near Mt. Fuji, Japan- world's leading suicide hot spot, in 2016 (3). Measurement errors in official suicide data, especially those involving the opiod epidemic (with a research group led by Dr. Ian Rocket of West Virginia University, Dr. Ed Caine, U of Rochester,  and a dozen other faculty at medical and public health schools (current paper under review at the American J. of Public Health)  (3). Work on the cultural moderators of the ratio of suicide/homicide rates in 162 regions of Europe (with Dr. Laubepin, University of Michigan) paper under review at SSQ  (3). Research on racial differences in the link between cyber bullying and suicidality (with Dr. Kral and Ms. Cameron (PhD student) in the WSU School of Social Work), presented at the International Summit on Suicide Research, 2017, Las Vegas. (4). Racial differences in the link between violence involvement and suicide attempts with Dr. Sidra Goldman (University of California, Mercid),  presented at the International Summit on Suicide Research, 2017, Las Vegas.


Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • A. Degrees: 1969 B.A., University of Connecticut, Storrs. Field: English. Minor: Mathematics. 1970 M.A., University of Connecticut, Storrs. Field: Education. 1973 M.A., University of Connecticut, Storrs. Field: Sociology. 1976 Ph.D., University of Connecticut, Storrs. Field: Sociology. Minor: Economics.

Awards and Grants

  • 1985 Edwin Shneidman Award.
    American Association of Suicidology
    For outstanding research accomplishments in the field of
    suicidology, by a person < 40, American Association
    Suicidology. Presented at annual meeting, Toronto.

    2003 Louis Dublin Award.
    American Association of Suicidology..

    For lifetime contributions to research and professional
    service in the field of suicidology.
    Presented at annual meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico. April.

    2003. Scholarly Recognition Award. Michigan Association of Suicidology.
    For contributions to the field of Suicidology at the National level and in the State of Michigan.
    Presented at annual meeting, Midland, MI, October 9-10.

    2004-2006. Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Office of the Provost, Wayne State University. Awarded for continued national recognition in research ($13,000), presented at University’s Awards Ceremony, April 27th, 2004.

    2004 Ig Nobel Prize (shared with James Gundlach)(Field: Medicine). 14th annual award, for contributions in field of music and suicidality, presented at Harvard University, Cambridge, September 30, 2004.

    2008. Donal MacNamara Award. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. For best article of 2007 published in the 3 journals of the ACJS. Presented at the annual meetings, ACJS, Cincinnati, OHIO, March 11-15. For: (Steven Stack, Liquin Cao and Amy Adamzyck). “Crime Volume & Law and Order Culture: Cross-National Analysis,” Justice Quarterly. 24(June): 291-308. JQ is rated as the #2/67 ranked Criminology/CJ journals.

    2017. Erwin Stengel Award presented by the International Association for Suicide Prevention for outstanding research evidenced by number and quality of publications in internationally acknowledged journals and indicators of esteem and reputation. Presented at IASP Congress July 2017 in Kuching, Malaysia..


Selected Publications


Niederkrotenthaler, T., Gould, M., Stack, S., & Till, Benedikt. (2016). Predictors of psychological improvement on non professional Suicide Message Boards: Content Analysis. Psychological Medicine. 46, 3429-3442.(SSCI J Category= psychiatry RANK=5/105journals;  Impact Factor=5.5)

Stack, S., Laubepin, F., et al., (2016) The Relationship between Components of Economic Deprivation and the Direction of Lethal Violence: Italian Provinces. Archives of Suicide Research,20:483-487. (SSCI category: Psychology-multidisciplinary, Rank: 37/128 journals;  impact factor=2.6)

Stack, S. & Kposowa, A.J. (2016) The Culture of Self Expressionism as a Predictor of Suicide Acceptability: A Multi-Level Cross National Analysis. Sociological Quarterly 57: 282-303. (SSCI category: sociology journals, RANK=37/140; impact factor= 1.9.

 Stack, S. & Rockett, R.H. (2018) Are suicide note writers representative of all suicides: Analysis of the National Violent Death Reporting System. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior. 48, 12-20. (SSCI Category: Psychology interdisciplinary, RANK=19/128; Impact Factor= 3.6)

Stack, S  (2017). Global warming linked to suicide among farmers. NATURE PLANTS, 3(10), 763-764.
(SSCI J Category= Plant Science RANK= 4/211 Impact Factor=10.3).

Stack, S. & Laubepin, Frederique. (2019). Religiousness as a predictor of suicide: An analysis of 162 European regions. Suicide & Life Threatening Behavior. 49: In press. (SSCI J Category= psychology-multidisciplinary RANK= 19/128 Impact Factor=3.6).

Stack, S. & Cao, L. (2019). Social integration and indigenous suicide: Psychiatric & social predictors. Archives of Suicide Research, in press. (SSCI J Category= psychology interdisciplinary, RANK=37/128, Impact Factor = 2.6)


Niederkrotenthalrer, T & Stack, S. (eds) (2017), Media and Suicide: International Perspectives on Research, Theory, and Policy. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books

Stack, S. & Bowman, B. (2011) Suicide Movies: Social Patterns, 1900-2009. Boston: Hogrefe.

Lester, D. & Stack, S. (eds)  (2015). Suicide as a Dramatic Performance. New Brusnwick, N.J.: Transaction Books.

Stack, S. & Lester, D. (eds). Suicide and the Creative Arts. New York: Nova Science.

Currently Teaching

  • CRJ 3550 Research in Criminal Justice, 4 credits,( W2017 & F 2016)

    CRJ 3800 Criminological Theories, 4 credits (W2017, & F 2016)

Courses taught

CRJ 3550 Research in Criminal Justice

CRJ 3800 Criminological Theories

CRJ 1010 Introduction to Criminal Justice

Citation Index

  • His work has received over 12,000  citations according to data in Google Scholar.

  • google scholar