New study finds teen suicide rate has doubled in US from 2008 to 2015

A recent study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics has revealed a sharp increase in the rate of both suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts carried out by teenagers in the US from 2008 to 2015.

The study, using data from children’s hospitals in the United States, contains a record of over 115,000 admissions for suicidal thoughts or attempts by teenagers over the nine-year period. In 2008, only 0.66% of children being admitted to hospital were linked to suicide attempts, but this had risen to over 1.8% by 2015.

The sharpest increase was for adolescents in the 15 to 17-year age group, with more growth noted for girls compared to boys. A seasonal trend was also observed, with the majority of cases occurring during spring and fall.

An author of the study, Gregory Plemmons – an associate professor of pediatrics with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University – made the following comments to CBS News: “There are increasing rates of anxiety and depression in youth and young adults. Some people have theorized that social media is playing a role.”

CBS reports that Plemmons said he was not surprised by the findings, as previous studies have shown reported a dramatic increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression among young people. “We know that increasing screen time on electronic devices is a marker for depression, as well, so talking to teens about their use of media is important.”