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."