Texas Teens Play Choking Game: Survey

by Thilaka Ravi on  January 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
A survey found nearly one out of seven college students at a Texas university playing the Choking Game, a dangerous behavior where blood flow is deliberately cut off to the brain in order to achieve a high. The study was undertaken by The Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University.
 Texas Teens Play Choking Game: Survey
Texas Teens Play Choking Game: Survey

The Choking Game, also known as the Fainting Game, Pass Out, or Space Monkey, is played individually or in groups and involves manually choking oneself or others, applying a ligature around the neck or a plastic bag over the head, placing heavy objects on the chest, or hyperventilating to attain a euphoric feeling. This practice has led to several suffocation deaths in Texas and across the country.

"This study was undertaken to determine who is playing the game, in what context, and how they learned about it," said Dr. Glen Kercher, director of the Crime Victims' Institute. "It is our hope that these findings will inform efforts by parents, schools, and community agencies to warn young people about the dangers of participating in the Choking Game."

The study was based on a survey completed by 837 students at a Texas university. Among the findings were:
  • 16% percent of students reported having played the game; 72% reportedly played the game more than once
  • Males were more likely to have played than females
  • The average age when students first played the game was 14
  • 90% of those who played the game first heard about it from peers
  • Most students reported that others were present when they first played the game
  • Curiosity about the effects of the Choking Game was a primary motivation for playing the game
  • Learning about the potential dangers in engaging in this activity served as a deterrent for the majority of non-participants.

"Even though awareness of the Choking Game is growing, it should be noted that encouragement for parents to discuss this activity with their children should still be stressed," said Brittany Longino Smith, who co-authored the study "The Choking Game" with Dr. Kercher and Dr. Leana Bouffard, an Associate Professor at SHSU.

A similar study on the Choking Game found that 90 percent of parents would support incorporating information on the behavior in health and drug prevention classes.

While preventative programs have increased to help warn adolescents of the use of illegal substances, the Choking Game is another method of achieving similar effects that has been introduced to this age group. "This 'game,' as it is often called, does not require obtaining any drugs or alcohol, is free, and can go undetected by many parents, teachers, physicians, and other authority figures. Most importantly, many of those who engage in this activity, do not understand that the practice can be just as deadly as the illegal substances youth have been warned against," the study found.
Source: Eurekalert

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All