Thursday, December 1, 2011

9yr old kids are attempting suicide study says

Children as young as nine years old are attempting to kill themselves, according to a new U.S. study that probes depression and suicide in youths.

And nearly 40 per cent of those who attempted suicide first tried to kill themselves in elementary or middle school, according to the study published in the November edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health by researchers from the University of Washington.

The data was collected from an ongoing study that asked 883 participants, aged 18 to 19, to discuss their suicidal history. Out of 78 participants who said they have attempted suicide, 38 said they made a single attempt and 40 made multiple attempts.

Those who tried to kill themselves multiple times began their attempts as children.

"Multiple attempters were more likely to have made their first suicide attempt during elementary or middle school compared to single attempters," said the study, titled: An Examination of the Validity of Retrospective Measures of Suicide Attempts in Youth.

Those who tried to kill themselves — especially those who made multiple attempts — reported significantly more depression than their peers. The authors suggest that with students trying to kill themselves at such young ages, suicide prevention programs should focus on elementary and middle school populations as well as high school populations.

The youngest age of a reported suicide attempt in the sample was nine years old. Suicide attempt rates showed a sharp spike when the participants were around 12 years old.

Twice as many girls as boys in the study tried to kill themselves.

"We can say that there is tremendous stress on being a teenager these days or even younger people because of the Internet and the fast pace of society and all sorts of things happening around them with the social interaction," said Grant Wilson, director of Canadian Children's Rights Council.


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