Exposure to websites that encourage self-harm and suicide: Prevalence rates and association with actual thoughts of self-harm and thoughts of suicide in the United States.

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Abstract

This article provides 12-month prevalence rates of youth exposure to websites which encourage self-harm or suicide and examines whether such exposure is related to thoughts of self-harm and thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days. Data were collected via telephone from a nationally representative survey of 1560 Internet-using youth, ages 10-17 residing in the United States. One percent (95% CI: 0.5%, 1.5%) of youth reported visiting a website that encouraged self-harm or suicide. Youth who visited such websites were seven times more likely to say they had thought about killing themselves; and 11 times more likely to think about hurting themselves, even after adjusting for several known risk factors for thoughts of self-harm and thoughts of suicide. Given that youth thinking about self-harm and suicide are more likely to visit these sites, they may represent an opportunity for identification of youth in need of crisis intervention.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychiatry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1344
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume37
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes