Youth online risk factors tied to suicide-related behaviors

Youth online risk factors tied to suicide-related behaviors

(HealthDay)—Discrete types of risk factors are identifiable from online data that are associated with subsequent youth suicide-related behavior, according to a study published online Sept. 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Steven A. Sumner, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues evaluated the association between online risk factors and youth suicide-related behavior using real-world online activity data. The analysis included 227 youths having a severe suicide or self-harm alert requiring notification of school administrators matched (1:5) to 1,135 controls based on location, length of follow-up, and general volume of online activity.

The researchers found that all eight online risk factors (cyberbullying, violence, drug-related, , profanity, , depression, and low-severity self-harm) differed between case and control populations and were significantly associated with subsequent severe suicide/self-harm alerts. There was a range in these associations from an adjusted odds ratio of 1.17 for drug-related content to an adjusted odds ratio of 1.82 for depression-related content. There was an exponentially larger risk for severe suicide/self-harm alerts based on number of online risk factors, with youth with five or more of the eight having more than 70-fold increased odds of subsequently having a severe suicide/self-harm alert (adjusted odds ratio, 78.64).

"Our findings suggest novel avenues for more timely and efficient assistance and suicide prevention efforts," the authors write.

Several authors are employed by Bark, the online safety tool used in the study.

More information: Abstract/Full Text
Journal information: JAMA Network Open

Copyright © 2021 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Youth online risk factors tied to suicide-related behaviors (2021, September 24) retrieved 8 December 2022 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Emergency help for suicide-related issues up during pandemic for some youth


Feedback to editors