Nearly 13 % of suicides among
teens are copycat ones, researchers said. Young adolescents may contemplate
suicide if their classmate or a friend from their group committed suicide, a
recent research has found.
The study showed that suicidal
thoughts could be contagious among teens. This is why after a suicide case goes
public, we tend to hear about more such similar incidents.
The research found that students,
who were 12 to 13 years old and had a classmate that committed suicide, were
five times more likely to harbor suicidal thoughts than someone who never had a
classmate attempt it. The effects seemed to last for nearly two years after the
suicide of the peer,
"The idea that suicide is
contagious has always been controversial for various reasons; however, this
important study should put many, if not all, doubts to rest. It provides
convincing evidence that, among young people, exposure to suicide is a risk
factor for future suicidal behavior. Suicide death of a schoolmate was a
stronger predictor of suicidality outcomes than suicide by someone personally
known, perhaps because the death of a peer resonates with youth more than the
death of a close adult. Thus it may be best for postvention strategies to include
all students rather than target close friends."