Peer Victimization Linked to Youth Suicide
Youth who are threatened with or experience physical violence, or who are injured by peers report more suicidal thoughts and behavior than non-victimized youth, according to a study released in the July 19th online edition of the Journal of Pediatrics. Conducted by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the study documents a significant connection between this type of peer victimization and youth suicide.
Scientists measured physical violence by peers, a form a peer victimization that can occur during bullying and other incidents, and the relationship to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Findings show that youth threatened or injured by a peer were 2.4 times more likely to report suicidal thoughts, and 3.3 times more likely to report suicidal behavior than non-victimized peers.
Youth suicide is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities. Investing in programs and policies that reduce peer victimization experiences in schools might have farther-reaching effects on suicidal behavior.
Jennifer Wyatt Kaminski, Xiangming Fang, Victimization by Peers and Adolescent Suicide in Three US Samples, The Journal of Pediatrics, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 19 July 2009, ISSN 0022-3476, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.04.061.
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