Social Withdrawal in Kids, Teens May Signal Higher Suicide Risk Later

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

If a preteen or teen skips school activities and social events, it may be more than the typically moody behavior of adolescence, new research warns.

Being socially withdrawn and having physical discomforts such as headaches, nausea or stomachaches as a preteen may boost the risk of having suicidal thoughts by age 16, researchers report.

In the new study, Japanese researchers studied over 2,700 adolescents involved in the Tokyo Teen Cohort study, which has examined mental and physical development during adolescence since 2012. Their parents answered questionnaires about their child’s mental and behavioral symptoms at ages 10, 12, and 16.

Having suicidal thoughts was defined by answering “yes” or “somewhat yes” to the question, “Do you currently think that you should not be alive?” at age 16.

Participants who experienced social withdrawal and somatic symptoms between the ages of 10 and 12 were roughly two to three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts at age 16, the study found.

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Lead study author Dr. Shuntaro Ando, an associate professor in the department of neuropsychiatry at the University of Tokyo, told CNN that parents shouldn’t assume “that the withdrawn symptoms are not a problem because the child has always been shy and prefers to be alone.”

Source: HealthDay

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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