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Causes And Prevention Of Suicide In Adolescents

1277 words - 6 pages

Introduction
Suicide is “the action of killing oneself intentionally” (New American Oxford Dictionary). According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents ages 10 to 24 (2014). Adolescent suicide is quickly becoming an epidemic. As shown in the chart, between 1993 and 2000, suicide rates were decreasing. Between 2000 and 2010, however, the rates have been increasing to alarming numbers. “Deaths from youth suicide are only part of the problem. More young people survive suicide attempts than actually die” (Center for Disease Control, 2014). Studies show that adolescents who struggle with violence, low academic performance and substance abuse are more likely to commit or attempt to commit suicide.
Violence
When a child is exposed to domestic violence, that child learns as early as age three that violent, manipulative, invasive or controlling behaviors are socially acceptable and without punishment. That child will learn that it is their right, their privilege, their obligation, to control their significant other later on in life.
There are four types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental and emotional abuse and neglect. Physical abuse is the type or abuse most people think of when they hear about “abuse.” Physical abuse is far more common among male victims than among female victims. In the words of the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, “boys are at a higher risk and experience more severe abuse” (2011). Although the exact definition of sexual abuse is somewhat debated, most sources agree on a pretty basic definition: any type of sexual act that one person knowingly forces another, unwilling (or underaged) person to take part in. Unlike the victims of physical abuse who are mostly male, the vast majority of sexual abuse victims are females in their adolescent years. To neglect someone or something is to “fail to care for properly” (New Oxford American Dictionary): mental and emotional abuse occurs when the abuser uses insulting or hurtful language against the victim.
In all four types of abuse, the victims may experience lowered self esteem or depression which may lead to poor academic performance, self harm, substance abuse or suicide. The victim also has potential to become the abuser in later relationships (think boyfriend- girlfriend or parent- child relationships).
Low Academic Performance
Generally, students’ environments can affect their achievement (or lack thereof), academically speaking. There are many factors to take into consideration when examining a student’s grades: social class, religion, gender, family or home life and location. For example, students who are of the middle to upper class will achieve higher academic performance (on average) than their middle to lower class counterparts. Students who show no interest in or preference of religion, are female or live with a single mother are more likely to drop out (Blai). Region and neighborhood can also...

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