Being the third leading killer of young adults within the age range of fifteen to twenty four, next to accidents and murder; the second leading killer amongst college students, next to accidents; and the first leading killer amidst college students if one-person car accidents, or autocides, is not considered an accident, teenage suicide tolls has drastically increased since the 1950s, with its numbers tripling in the past thirty years. Defined as an act of deliberately killing one’s self intentionally, statistics show that over two million suicide attempts are conducted annually, with only five thousand being successful. As claimed by the National Center for Health Statistics, with every 100 minutes that pass, a suicide attempt has been made. According to studies in California and Kansas, one out of every ten teens questioned admitted to have made a suicide attempt.
Reasons surrounding suicides include overwhelming negative thoughts, unhappiness, traumatic events, need of revenge or attention, neglection by parents which is responsible for half of suicide victims, sexual abuse, loneliness, and divorce, which is responsible for 70% of suicide attempts. Television and music are also blamed for increasing suicide tolls. Television creates an environment in which violence and death is ordinary while music triggers suicide such as how Ozzy Osbourne’s song “Suicide Solution” triggered a 19 year old to shot himself in the head on October 1984.
Race and gender may also impact suicide tolls as in the United States, suicide victims are more likely to be white than black. In 1988, 1819 white teens within the ages of 15-19 committed suicide while only 240 blacks did. Studies show that African-Americans have a stronger sense of community through surviving economic hardships and racism, which is the reason they do not commit suicide as much. Males, however, are also more likely to commit a successful suicide compared to
Bibliography: 1. Galas, Judith C. Teen Suicide. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc, 1994. 2. Delahunty, Andrew, ed. “Suicide.” Def 2. Oxford Pocket School Dictionary, New ed. 2005.