Teen suicide research papers illustrate that suicide is a common consideration among teens of both genders, all socio-economic groups, and in all situations. As adolescents experience hormonal changes and fluctuations, physical changes, and the challenges that go along with being a teen, their personalities change, and they often feel as if the changes bring about more harm than good.
Risk Factors for Teen Suicide
Teen suicide comes with many risk factors due to the biological and sociological changes that take place during the teenage years. A risk factor is any habit or history that a person has that increases his or her likelihood of having an issue with suicide. Risk factors for teen suicide include:
- Mental disorders such as depression or anxiety
- Bullying at School or by peers
- History of social isolation
- Someone in the family having committed suicide in the past
- Financial problems
- Relationship loss
- Gay teens are 3 times more likely to commit suicide
Teen pregnancy is yet another change heaped upon an already dangerously desperate young woman. Suddenly, she finds herself abandoned by her friends and boyfriend (and sometimes by her family as well), and the burden she bears alone becomes unbearable.
Joan Haliburn agrees with this synopsis, as she writes, "In a sample of 104 suicidal adolescents aged 12 to 20 years seen between 1994 and 1998, the most frequent reasons for self-harm were to die, to escape from an intolerable situation, and to obtain relief, consistent with previous research." Because many teenage mothers fall through the "cracks" of the system, per se, they feel alone and unnoticed, and can often be lost in the shuffle of life. Their situation bleak, in conjunction with drug or substance abuse, can exacerbate itself into suicide attempts or successes.
Halinger states in her article that of teens surveyed during her study on suicide, "more than 80% were found to suffer from major depression, with melancholic features in a significant proportion and psychotic symptoms in a small number." As mentioned previously, and as echoed by researchers, "adolescence is a time of physical, psychological, and social change and generally is considered a stressful period during normal development. Additional psychosocial stressors such as pregnancy may predispose some adolescents to poorer functioning."
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