Despite the efforts of many, suicides and attempted suicides continue to increase in the United States.1 Olfson et al2 report that US suicide attempts increased significantly from 0.62% to 0.79% among
Bullying is a distinct form of aggressive behavior that is intentional, repeated, and involves a power imbalance between the perpetrator and victim. Nearly 1 in 5 children have been bullied by peers.2
MMWR Surveill Summ. 2011 Oct 21;60(13):1-22.
Background There is concern that the internet is playing an increasing role in self-harm and suicide. In this study we systematically review and analyse research literature to determine whether there
PLoS One. 2014 Apr 16;9(4):e94841. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094841. eCollection 2014. Observational Study; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Empirical studies and some high-profile anecdotal cases have demonstrated a link between suicidal ideation and experiences with bullying victimization or offending. The current study examines the extent to which a nontraditional form of peer aggression—cyberbullying—is also related to suicidal ideation among adolescents. In 2007, a random sample of 1,963 middle-schoolers from one of the largest school districts in the United States completed a survey of Internet use and experiences. Youth who experienced traditional bullying or cyberbullying, as either an offender or a victim, had more suicidal thoughts and were more likely to attempt suicide than those who had not experienced such forms of peer aggression. Also, victimization was more strongly related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors than offending. The findings provide further evidence that adolescent peer aggression must be taken seriously both at school and at home, and suggest that a suicide prevention and intervention component is essential within comprehensive bullying response programs implemented in schools.
There is increasing evidence that the Internet and social media can influence suicide-related behavior. Important questions are whether this influence poses a significant risk to the public and how public health approaches might be used to address the issue. To address these questions, we provide an overview of ways that social media can influence suicidal behavior, both negatively and positively, and we evaluate the evidence of the risk. We also discuss the legal complexities of this important topic and propose future directions for research and prevention programs based on a public health perspective. (Am J Public Health. 2012;102:S195–S200. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2011.300608)