Rise in teen suicide, social media coincide; is there link?


CHICAGO (AP) — A rise in suicide charges amongst U.S. teenagers occurred on the similar time social media use surged and a brand new evaluation suggests there could also be a hyperlink.

Suicide charges for teenagers rose between 2010 and 2015 after that they had declined for almost 20 years, based on knowledge from the federal Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. Why the charges went up isn’t recognized.

The research doesn’t reply the query, however it means that one issue might be rising social media use. Current teen suicides have been blamed on cyberbullying, and social media posts depicting “good” lives could also be taking a toll on teenagers’ psychological well being, researchers say.

“After hours of scrolling by means of Instagram feeds, I simply really feel worse about myself as a result of I really feel overlooked,” stated Caitlin Hearty, a 17-yr-previous Littleton, Colorado, highschool senior who helped arrange an offline marketing campaign final month after a number of native teen suicides.

“Nobody posts the dangerous issues they’re going by way of,” stated Chloe Schilling, additionally 17, who helped with the marketing campaign, by which lots of of teenagers agreed to not use the web or social media for one month.

The research’s authors checked out CDC suicide reviews from 2009-15 and outcomes of two surveys given to U.S. highschool college students to measure attitudes, behaviors and pursuits. About half one million teenagers ages thirteen to 18 have been concerned. They have been requested about use of digital units, social media, print media, tv and time spent with pals. Questions on temper included frequency of feeling hopeless and contemplating or trying suicide.

The researchers didn’t look at circumstances surrounding particular person suicides. Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer on the American Basis for Suicide Prevention, stated the research supplies weak proof for a well-liked concept and that many elements affect teen suicide.

The research was revealed Tuesday within the journal Medical Psychological Science.

Knowledge highlighted within the research embrace:

—Teenagers’ use of digital units together with smartphones for at the least 5 hours every day greater than doubled, from eight % in 2009 to 19 % in 2015. These teenagers have been 70 % extra more likely to have suicidal ideas or actions than those that reported one hour of day by day use.

—In 2015, 36 % of all teenagers reported feeling desperately unhappy or hopeless, or fascinated by, planning or trying suicide, up from 32 % in 2009. For women, the charges have been greater — forty five % in 2015 versus forty % in 2009.

—In 2009, fifty eight% of twelfth grade women used social media day by day or almost daily; by 2015, 87% used social media daily or almost day by day. They have been 14% extra more likely to be depressed than those that used social media much less ceaselessly.

“We have to cease considering of smartphones as innocent,” stated research writer Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State College who research generational tendencies. “There’s a bent to say, ‘Oh, teenagers are simply speaking…



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