Adolescents and Suicide
Alliant International University
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 13 to 24. In recent years, suicide has increased at an alarming rate in adolescents. One in five teenagers in the United States considers suicide, in 2003, 8 percent of adolescents attempted suicide. It can affect teens from all races, both genders, and socioeconomic groups. According to a 2004 report distributed by the National Institute of Mental Health identified that psychological, environmental, and biological are the possible causes for suicidal distress. The risk for suicide frequently occurs in combination with external circumstances, lack of coping skills, substance abuse, and depression the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die in suicide. Adolescent suicide can be prevented by recognizing the possible symptoms and warning signs. Suicide prevention programs, crisis center hotlines, screening programs, seek to identify at risk adolescents and provide them with the proper treatment and reduce suicidal ideation.
Adolescents and Suicide
The number of adolescent deaths from suicide in the United States increased dramatically during the last few years between the ages of 13 to 24, surpassed only by homicide and accidents. According to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) in 2003, 8 percent of adolescents attempted suicide, representing 1 million teenagers, of whom nearly 300,000 receive medical attention for their attempt; and approximately 1,700 teenagers died by suicide each year (Moskos, Achilles, & Gray, 2004).
Moskos, Achilles, and Gray (2004) found causes of suicidal distress which were associated to psychological, environmental, and biological factors. Mental illness is a leading risk factor for suicide. Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who died by suicide. In a systematic review of the international literature cohort and case control revealed studies of adolescents with depression in which suicide was an outcome (Hawton, Casanas, & Sounders, 2013). The risk factors vary with age, gender, ethnic groups, family dynamics, and stressful life events. Environmental factors can relate to trauma, death of a loved one, relationship difficulties, and a geographic relocation. The National Institute of Mental Health 2004, research show that risk factors for suicide include substance abuse disorders often with a combination with external circumstances that seem to overwhelm at risk teens whom are unable to cope with that challenges of adolescence because of predisposing vulnerabilities such as mental disorders (Moskos et al., 2004). The possible stressors are disciplinary problems, interpersonal losses, family violence, sexual orientation confusion, physical and sexual abuse and being the victim of bullying. Suicidal ideation substantially increases the odds of future suicide attempts. One probable mediating mechanism is how the individual copes with adverse life events. For example, certain coping strategies appear to be more problematic than others in increasing future psychopathology, and emotional suppression in particular has been associated with poor mental health outcomes in adolescents. However, no studies to date have examined the potential mediating role of emotional suppression in the relation between adverse life events and suicidal thoughts of behavior in adolescents. The goal of a current study was to examine emotional suppression as a mediator in the relation between childhood adversity and future suicidal thoughts or behaviors in youth. A total of 625 participants, aged 14 to 19 years, seeking emergency services (ER), were administered measures assessing adverse life events, coping strategies, suicidal ideation in the last two weeks, and suicide attempts in the last month. The results suggest that emotional suppression mediates the relation between adversity and...
References: Achilles, J., Gray, D., Moskos, M. (2004). Adolescent suicide myths in the United States. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 25(4):176-182.
Hawton, K., Casañas i Comabella, C., & Saunders, K. (2013). Risk factors for suicide in individuals with depression: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, doi:10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.004
Kaplow, J. B., Gipson, P. Y., Horwitz, A. G., Burch, B. N., & King, C. A. (2013). Emotional suppression mediates the relation between adverse life events and adolescent suicide: Implications for prevention. Prevention Science, doi:10.1007/s11121-013-0367-9
Klimes-Dougan, B., Klingbeil, D. A,. & Meller, S. J. (2013). The impact of universal suicide-prevention programs on the help-seeking attitudes and behaviors of youths. Crisis; The Journal of crisis Intervention And Suicide Prevention, 34(2), 82-97. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000178
Sher, L. (2011). The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the pathophysiology of adolescent suicidal behavior. International Journal Of Adolescent Medicine And Health, 23(3), 181-185. doi:10.1515/ijamh.2011.041
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