Reuters (10/31, Pittman) reports that, according to a review of 14 studies published online Oct. 30 in PLoS One, online groups and social media may be a source of support for troubled teens who may be at increased risk for suicide and self-harm. However, they may also heighten those risks by exposing those adolescents to endorsements of self-harm. In some cases, online groups and social media may also harbor cyber-bullies who pick on vulnerable teens.
The NPR (10/31, Shute) “Shots” blog reports that the review also found a strong association “between online forums and increased risk of suicide, a risk not found with other forms of social networking.”
— “Online forums a ‘mixed bag’ for depressed youth, “Genevra Pittman, Reuters, October 30, 2013.