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Study: possible link between social media and teen suicide rise

Study: possible link between social media and teen suicide rise. (WPEC)

The number of teen suicides around the country are increasing and a new study by the Journal of Clinical Psychological Science shows a possible link to social media.

The study shows the longer teens are on their smartphones, the more likely they are to have suicidal thoughts.

“Were more connected, but that the same time we are more disconnected than ever,” said Licensed Psychologist, Doctor Rachel Needle. Social media usage has grown substantially in the last decade.

The study shows teen using smart phones for at least five hours a day has doubled since 2009.

“We’re able to see peoples live in ways that we didn’t used to, we didn’t know what people were doing at every minute of every day and now we can,” said Doctor Needle. She says with that exposure to other people, teens are comparing their lives on social media with followers and likes, often with results that can lower their self-esteem.

Teens who use their smart phones for at least five hours a day, are 70% more likely to have suicidal thoughts than teens who use their phone for only an hour according the study.

Suicide rates declined for nearly two decades but began to rise between 2010 and 2015. Now female teen suicide rates are the highest in 40 years. Doctor Needle says cyber bullying plays a factor. “You can bullied 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you’re on social media that much,” said Doctor Needle.

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