More Middle-School Girls Are Inflicting Self-Pain, Experts Say it Might Be Because of Smartphones.

Picture courtesy of TheHunt – Shadowmxses

Picture courtesy of TheHunt – Shadowmxses

An analysis of emergency room visits for adolescent and teenage girls has discovered an alarming increase in self harm over the past decade. From 2009 to 2015 the rate of self-harm emergency visits for girls aged 10-14 increased 18.8% yearly from 110 per 100,000 to 318 per 100,000. Comparatively, the rate for girls aged 15-19 increased 7.2% yearly from 2008-2015 and for age 20-24 by 2.0% yearly from 2001-2015. Experts and psychologists believe that the higher rate increase for younger girls may be related to smartphones, the internet, and social media. Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University, has found in her research that teens who spend 5 or more hours on the internet daily have a 71% increased likeliness of having a suicide risk factor (such as depression or suicidal thoughts) compared to teens who spend one hour or less. The original iPhone was released in mid-2007, and in 2015 surveys showed that nearly 74% of girls age 13-17 have their own smartphone, up from less than 40% in 2012.

For more information please visit The Washington Post, and the original letter via the Journal of the American Medical Association.

How old were you when you got your first phone? Have you ever had to talk to a child about body image or self-harm? What can we do to combat the rising rates of teenage depression, internet bullying, and self-harm in America?

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