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Adolescent Suicides Research Paper

Adolescent Suicides

INTRODUCTION

Suicide is an act where one intentionally ends his/her own life. (Berman, 1992). Suicide has existed for a long time and has increased substantially in the past 2-3 decades among adolescents (Hawton, 1986). In order for a death to be considered suicide it must be ones own doing, where the person intentionally used a physical action to kill himself; this is different from an accidental self-inflicted death. If a suicide does not result in death, it is labeled as an attempted suicide. Statistics show that suicide rates in Ontario between 1971 and 1977 have increased by 42%, for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 10 to 24 years old. Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for adolescents, where age, sex, and race are important risk factors (Berman, 1992). Hawton (1986) agues that there has been a great amount of adolescent suicides that have gone unreported due to;
1. The relative rarity of the event in this age group may make those
responsible for determining the cause of death unlikely to consider suicide
as an explanation;
2. Even if suicide is considered a possibility, the widely held belief that small children rarely commit suicide may mean that there is a greater tendency for death in this age group to be mistakenly reported as accidental. Subsequent suicide statistics will therefore confirm the belief that suicide is uncommon in children;
3. Those responsible for reporting suicide may be, consciously or unconsciously, concerned to protect other individuals from distress that a verdict of suicide may cause. Parents are particular liable to feel not only grieved but guilty about the suicide of a young son or daughter and the death may be reported as accidental or of undetermined cause in order to protect their feelings;
4. The predominant religious beliefs of a country or society are also likely to be important. For example, the Roman Catholic Church regards suicide as a mortal sin, and so officials in predominantly Catholic countries such as Italy and Ireland may be less likely to believe that a person has committed suicide than in predominantly Protestant countries. (p. 17-18)
My paper will discuss the reasons for adolescent suicides; the methods of suicide; euthanasia; prevention of suicide and how social workers can help with intervention.
Reasons for suicides in adolescents.
There are methodological problems in studying the reasons or causes of suicide in adolescents because...

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