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How parents behave is related to the risk of suicide: research (Update)

  Parental Behaviors Related to Adolescent Suicide
Credit: University of Cincinnati

Teens who feel their parents rarely express an interest in their emotional well-being are much more likely to consider suicide than young people who see their parents involved, US researchers said on Tuesday. UU

The findings at the University of Cincinnati occur when the teen suicide rate increases in the United States, raising concerns among parents, educators, and health experts.

Just in the last month, a 10-year-old girl in Colorado and a 13-year-old boy in California hanged themselves. Her parents say that bullying at school contributed to the girls' deaths.

"Parents ask us all the time," What can we do? "Said Keith King, who coordinates the Ph.D. program in education and health promotion at the University of Cincinnati.

"Children need to know that someone is turning their backs on them, and unfortunately, many of them do not, that's a big problem."

King and his colleague, Rebecca Vidourek, based their findings on a 2012 national survey of people 12 years and older who revealed a significant link between parent behaviors and suicidal thoughts among adolescents.

They found that those most affected by the behavior of the parents were those of 12 and 13 years of age.

Children in this age group who said their parents rarely or never told them they were proud of them were almost five times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, the researchers said.

They were also nearly seven times more likely to formulate a suicide plan and seven times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

An unusually high risk of suicide was also observed in 12- and 13-year-old children whose parents rarely or never told them that they did a good job or helped them with their homework.

Among older teens, ages 16 and 17, those who said their parents rarely or never said they were proud of them were three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts – almost four times more likely to make a suicide plan and attempting to commit suicide – than their peers whose parents sometimes or often expressed pride in their children.

& # 39; Positively connected & # 39;

The researchers acknowledged that the survey was based on young people's perceptions of their parents' behavior and that some parents may disagree with their children's response.

"The perceptions of young people are extremely important for suicidal ideation and attempts," King told AFP in an email.

"Sometimes parents think they are involved, but from the adolescent's perspective they are not."

Some forms of parents to protect against suicide include "direct communication and direct interactions that are authoritative in nature between the parent (s) and the adolescent, "he added.

Teens may also be more likely to try drugs or risky sexual behavior if parents are not adequately engaged, King said.

"One key is to ensure that children feel positively connected to their parents and family," said Vidourek, who serves as co-director of the Center for Preventive Science, along with King.

The study did not delve into the completion of suicide by adolescents, but rather whether they harbored suicidal ideas, made plans or attempted suicide.

A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention UU Earlier this year she discovered that suicide rate among teenagers doubled between 2007 and 2015, and increased by 30 percent among children.

About 5,900 young people between 10 and 24 years old committed suicide in the United States in 2015, according to government figures.

E Experts say that a number of factors contribute to the risk of suicide, including depression and mental health, negative influences on social networks, harassment, financial struggles and exposure to violence.

King said that certain basic behaviors of parents can help.

tell them you're proud of them, they did a good job, they got involved with them and they helped them with their homework, "King said.

The research was presented at the American Public Health Association conference year in Atlanta.

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