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January 2011



Recent Posts


By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on January 14, 2010

According to an influential group of American physicians, adolescents and parents need help recognizing that suicide is a problem in their own communities.

Education is also needed to help identify teens that are suicidal.

According to a study, “Attitudes and Beliefs of Adolescents and Parents Regarding Adolescent Suicide,” published in the February issue of Pediatrics, in the United States in 2006, 1,771 children and adolescents ages 10 to 19 committed suicide.

The tragedies made suicide the third leading cause of death in this age group.

To design a better suicide prevention program, researchers set out to understand what interventions would be most effective.

In focus groups in Chicago and Kansas City, both teenagers and their parents correctly identified many of the known risk factors for suicide, including mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse, relational or social loss, and hopelessness.

However, study authors said it was concerning that some of the parents reported regular drug and alcohol use as being a normal part of adolescent development, rather than problem behavior.

Parents and teens suggested guns should be removed if an adolescent is known to be suicidal, but parents acknowledged they may not be able to identify a suicidal teen. Parents and teens didn’t think suicide was a problem in their communities.

All groups were interested in learning how to identify and intervene with a suicidal adolescent. Study authors conclude pediatricians should regularly screen all adolescents in their offices and encourage families to be open to discussing depression and suicide.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics


Mental Health Issues Up for High School, College Students

Compared to the 1930s, five times as many American high school and college students are struggling with anxiety and other mental health issues, according to a new study.

Researchers reviewed the responses of 77,576 high school or college students who completed the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory questionnaire between 1938 and 2007, the Associated Press reported.

The findings showed that, overall, an average of five times as many students in 2007 surpassed thresholds in one or more mental health categories, compared with students in 1938. In two areas, six times as many students in 2007 scored much higher in two areas:

  • *The rate of hypomania (a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism) was found in 31 percent of students in 2007, compared with 5 percent in 1938.
  • *The rate of depression among students was 6 percent in 2007 and 1 percent in 1938.


The study also found that 24 percent of students in 2007 scored high in a category called “psychopathic deviation” — defined as having trouble with authority and feeling that rules don’t apply to you — compared with 5 percent of students in 1938, the AP reported.

The findings were released Monday, and the study will appear in a future issue of the journal Clinical Psychology Review.


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