Self-esteem problems have been identified as a major contributor to suicidal behavior in adolescents

Self-esteem problems have been identified as a major contributor to suicidal behavior in adolescents
Self-esteem problems have been identified as a major contributor to suicidal behavior in adolescents
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Using artificial intelligence, scientists were able to identify factors that predict suicidal behavior in adolescents and students. One of them turned out to be problems with self-esteem.

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Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15 and 24, so it is crucial to understand the underlying motivations for this behavior. A team of scientists from McGill Universities, Montreal (Canada) and Bordeaux (France) applied artificial intelligence to predict suicidal behavior in adolescents and students. The work was published in Scientific Reports.

The researchers relied on data collected from more than 5,000 students from universities in France, who were monitored from 2013 to 2019. Scientists were able to show that out of 70 potential factors of suicidal behavior, four can be called the main: about 80 percent of cases of suicide attempts depend on them. This includes so-called suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and problems with self-esteem.

All of them, in turn, can be associated with socio-demographic reasons, use of psychoactive substances, childhood trauma, as well as family genetic history. At the same time, they can be aggravated by such factors as adaptation to a new environment, the transition from class to class or from one educational institution to another.

Test participants completed two interviews, during which they provided important information about their health, drug and alcohol use, medical and psychiatric history, and psychological state. They completed the same survey a year later. As a result, scientists showed that about 17 percent of students exhibited suicidal behavior during this time.

It was also found that self-esteem problems became one of the main factors of suicidal behavior for male students, and for female students - in conjunction with depressive symptoms and academic stress. According to the study authors, the fact that self-esteem problems can lead to suicide came as a surprise to them.

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