Children who are picked on by their peers or are abused or mistreated are more likely to think about killing themselves, a new study reveals. And the more areas of their lives in which they are victimized, the higher their risk.
The findings in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine provide a disturbing snapshot of the consequences of bullying and other forms of youth victimization.
In the study of nearly 1,200 children and adolescents (aged 10 to 17), 4.3 percent said they had experienced suicidal thoughts within the past month. When compared to participants who were not victimized at all, those who were bullied by peers were more than twice as likely to think about killing themselves in the past year.
Youth who were sexually assaulted had 3.4 times the risk of thinking about suicide and those who were maltreated had 4.4 times the risk during the past year.
At greatest risk were kids who were exposed to seven or more types of victimization in the past year, the study showed. These kids were almost six times more likely to report suicidal thoughts.
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