Teens spending a lot of time on the internet are at increased risk of suicide, a new study from Oxford University reported.
For the study, researchers looked at data from 14 studies and found contradictory results. Some studies said that internet helps lonely people find groups that help them cope with stress while others reported that internet increases risk of self-harm in teens.
According to the latest Oxford review, moderate to severe internet addiction can increase risk of suicidal behavior in adolescents.
A related study had earlier reported that girls, who spend more time online; updating pictures, chatting and surfing, are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and negative body image.
The review also showed that young people are vulnerable to cyber-bullying. Researchers found in few cases online-bullying led the victim to depression and even self-harm. In England, about half of all children face bullying over the internet.
'We are not saying that all young people who go on the internet increase their risk of suicide or self-harm. We are talking about vulnerable young people who are going online specifically to find out more about harming themselves or because they are considering suicide already. The question is whether the online content triggers a response so that they self-harm or take their own lives and we have found that there is a link," professor Paul Montgomery, from the Centre for Evidence Based Intervention at the University of Oxford, said in a news release.
The study is published in the journal PLOS One.
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