‘Online insult’ can increase suicidal thoughts in teens, says research
New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) at the Children’s Hospital of the LifeSpan Brain Institute in Philadelphia shows that teenagers who are the victims of online insult (cyber bullying) or criticism are more likely to have suicidal thoughts.
“Teenage boys and girls spend a lot of time online and they face a lot of negative reactions,” research said.
At a time when teens are spending more time online than ever before, the study highlights the negative impact that online insult in the virtual space can become a barrier to achieve targets and as a result, they become depressed because they cannot react, according to research expert Dr. Ren Barzley.
“Teachers and parents should also be aware of the pressures on teenagers as a result of online insult,” he said.
Depression and suicide are the second leading causes of death among children aged 10 to 24 in the United States, according to a 2018 study.
The causes of suicide in children and youth have not yet been fully understood, but research shows that environmental stress plays a key role.
Traditional insult and peer insult are well-known suicide risk factors among young people.
Experts advise parents to keep a close eye on the process of online insult and to understand the stress, sadness and frustration of children using social media platforms.
As a result of the global coronavirus outbreak, children are more likely to be online after being confined to their homes, but their contact with friends and harassment and insult by them has also increased.
Prior to this study, however, it was not clear that online ridicule was one of the triggers for suicide.
The study looked at 10,000 children aged 10 to 13 in the United States from July 2018 to January 2021.
The study’s responses to the questionnaire found that children who were mocked online had a 7.6% higher rate of suicidal thoughts than other children, with a higher incidence of general anxiety and depression.