Adolescent Suicides Essay Research Paper INTRODUCTIONSuicide is

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Adolescent Suicides Essay, Research Paper INTRODUCTIONSuicide 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 many aspects of a victim?s life may have gone unreported. In addition, there may be difficulty in collaborating information from siblings or family members of the victim, as this is a very emotional topic to discuss, and the guilt may cause them to forget certain things (Hawton, 1986). Therefore, in order to study the reasons for suicide, researchers must compare characteristics and family history of people who commit suicide to those who do not. I believe that there is not one underlying cause for suicide but many, which center on inner needs that are not being met. People who commit suicide are looking for an escape to their problems. ?Adult evaluators

view adolescent suicide attempts as manipulative and hostile acts designed to punish and/or control significant others in their environment? (Curran, 1987, p. 44). I do not completely agree with this view, because it is vague and does not explain ones in-depth psychological reasoning to kill oneself. One study showed that the distinguishing characteristics among adolescent suicide attempts, included divorce in their family, moves, and school changes. They all viewed these events as unhappy and negative (Curran, 1987). Additional factors that may result in suicide include broken homes where there are stepparents, parental psychiatric disorders, and young marriages. In a study on adolescent suicides, 40% of all the attempters had a stepparent (Curran, 1987). The stepparent was