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The Morton M. Silverman Student Award

The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) announces the Morton M. Silverman Student Award for a paper written by a student on a topic directly related to the field of suicidology.

The AAS Student Award Committee is proud to announce Ian Cero, MA, MPS from Auburn University as the 2018 award winner! 

See his complete paper: "Assortativity of suicide-related posting on Twitter".

Abstract: Networks in which similar individuals are more likely to associate with one another than their dissimilar counterparts are called assortative. The clustering of suicides in time and space implies such fatalities likely have assortative features, and suggests other forms of suicide-related behavior may as well. The assortativity of suicide-related verbalizations (SRV) was examined by machine coding 64 million posts from 17 million users of a large social media platform over two distinct 28-day periods. Users were defined as socially linked in the network if they mutually replied to each other at least once. Results show SRV was significantly more assortative than chance, up to at least six degrees of separation. When mood was controlled, SRV assortativity remained significantly higher than chance through two degrees of separation, indicating this effect was not just an artifact of mood. Discussion demonstrates how exploiting assortative patterns can improve the efficiency of suicide risk detection.

This was another competitive year of entries and we would like to thank all the students who submitted as their hard work and dedication to the field was evident and exemplary. AAS would also like to thank the Student Award Committee and Dr. Thomas Joiner for the hours of work it takes to judge this worthy award competition.

AAS gratefully acknowledges LivingWorks Education for their generous support of The Morton M. Silverman Student Award.

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