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, in response to 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, nevertheless it means that one issue could possibly 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 way 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 manage an offline marketing campaign final month after a number of native teen suicides.

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

The research’s authors checked out CDC suicide studies 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 buddies. 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 offers 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 very 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 eager about, planning or trying suicide, up from 32 % in 2009. For women, the charges have been larger — forty five % in 2015 versus forty…

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