The Unexamined Life

Suicide Rates 2019: More Girls Turn To Lethal Means To End Life

A new study found that suicide rates among young girls have been higher this year. It found a significant gap between male and female occurrences especially between girls aged 10 to 19 years old in the United States alone. Moreover, the causes of death in most of cases were hanging and suffocation.

The research published in JAMA Network analyzed 85,051 youth suicide deaths in the United States and found that there had been a significant reduction between genders among the youth aged 10 to 19. Females suicides by hanging or suffocation were rising compared to males, indicating that future research on preventive measures to suicide should consider gender and developmental levels. Suicide has been pegged as the leading cause of death among the female youth of that age range although previous research traditionally found that occurrences usually involved males.

The researchers used population estimates to calculate suicide rates in the U.S. from Jan. 1, 1975 up to Dec. 31, 2016. To wit, they found that there have been significant changes in suicide rate trends, especially between genders. The findings underscored the importance of interventions to consider gender as a significant factor among suicides in the country.

Prior to the study, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already revealed that there were more suicide cases among female youth compared to males. Another study also indicated that suicide rates in this category have doubled from 2007 up to 2015 where only a 31 percent increase was from male suicides. Thus, these studies, including the most recent one, promote a deeper understanding in developing targeted prevention strategies in the future.

Lead author Donna Ruch, who is also a research scientist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, added that young females who have considered lethal means in ending their lives are a cause for “great concern.”

Child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Washington University School of Medicine and clinical psychologist at Southern Illinois University Sarah Kertz also commented that the study was not established to determine a definite reason behind the suicides. But they suspected that social media is a likely contributor to the rise in suicide rates among young females.

Suicide More women aged 10-14 committed suicide this year. Hasty Words/Pixabay