Opinion

Recent study hangs self-injury blame among U.S. girls on Smartphone

The study reveals that teens that spend 5 or more hours have a 71 percent tendency to commit suicide.

A study tracing 15 years of emergency room visit records has found that self-inflicted injuries among American girls have escalated since 2008 the cause of which experts say might be the increasingly widespread use of Smartphone.

According to a Washington Post report, over the past decade, a rising number of girls aged 10 to 14 turned to emergency medical aid after conducting self-harming behaviours, including ingesting poison, cuttings and overdosing on drugs.

These behaviours are strong indicators of suicide or attempted suicide.

In 2015 suicide was the second leading cause of death among youth between 10 and 24, the Post said, citing data gathered by the National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, an arm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Data on first-time visits for nonfatal injuries in 66 hospital emergency rooms across the U.S. from 2001 to 2015 showed about 29,000 girls with self-inflicted injuries were treated in that period.

Those self-harming attempts were all intentional but not necessarily suicidal.

Still, the data is in line with suicide rates for teenagers, especially girls, whose suicide rate rose to a 40-year high in 2015 and doubled over the past decade.

What is behind these teenage girls’ mental health issues, which led them to inflict physical pain on themselves?

Most experts pointed to the use of Smartphone as the highest common factor. Other factors such as economic pressure and academic stress were excluded after the indicators in the same period were examined.

Statistics from the Pew Research Center showed that 73 percent of teenagers in the United States had Smartphone as of 2015.

According to Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, teens spending five or more hours a day online are 71 percent more likely to commit suicide than those who spend one hour.

Frequent reports of suicide by girls due to Internet bullying in recent years are further proof of the conclusion.

 

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