Introduction the precipitating factors or the actual causes


The issue of increasing cases of suicide incidences among the youth in the contemporary society has attracted a lot of attention from sociologists and other scholars. A single theory cannot adequately explain such a complex issue as suicide. Biological, genetics, psychological and social factors work together to influence the decision to commit suicide (Holmes, 2010). The adolescent age is characterized by much discord, mayhem, and identity crisis.

Suicide has been attributed to various causes ranging from broken relationships to impulsivity. The question remains whether these are the precipitating factors or the actual causes of suicide among the youth in the world today. Scholars formulated theories that attempt to explain the reasons for suicide. Sigmund Freud attributed suicide to unconscious forces and hostility that was directed inward (Holmes & Holmes, 2005). Others scholars borrowed his idea to further develop the concept. Karl Menninger attributed suicide to three unconscious forces, revenge, depression and loneliness (Holmes & Holmes, 2005) Suicidal behaviour can also be traced back to genetic predispositions and family back ground. Others believe that suicide results from the futile attempts to capture attention.

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In fact most of the people who successfully commit suicide have tried it in the past (Holmes, 2010). The major concern still remains whether these theories facilitate in reduction of cases of suicide in the society.

Research Design and Methodology

Action research method involves identifying the problem; applying measures resolve the situation and evaluating the results. Unsuccessful results should motivate the researcher to try again. This method applies scientific method and ensures that the propositions suggested are strictly informed by theoretical considerations. This method is preferable in this research because it allows the researcher to fully participate in the problem and also seeks to find solutions to the problem of widespread cases of suicide among the youth. The researcher should therefore analyze cases; conduct interviews to identify the problems that the youth face that may prompt them to committing suicide and come up with informed solutions.

However, results on carried out epidemiologic surveys on suicide are often complex and difficult to interpret since they just reveal the comparison of varying estimates of suicide incidences (Meehan, Lamb, Saltzman & O’Carroll, 1992). They should instead seek to define more precisely the intention of the respondent when they report the suicide attempt (Meehan, Lamb, Saltzman & O’Carroll, 1992). The current research findings may also fail to remedy the situation due to lack of connection between the researcher and those developing the intervention (Garland and Zigler, 2010).

Suicide Cases among the Youth

American Association of Sociology reveals that suicide incidences among the youth aged between fifteen and nineteen form the third leading cause of death in America (Holmes & Holmes, 2005).

Suicide rates among the young people have been increasing over the years. Teenagers have a tendency to contemplate on issues of death and dying especially since their level of maturity allows them to analyze philosophically their place in world among other important issues in life (Holmes & Holmes, 2010). Medical factors significantly influence the youth propensity towards suicide.

Persistent sensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to stress in a youth’s life increases individual chances of developing psychopathological conditions that causes susceptibility to suicide (Holmes & Holmes, 2010). However, additional research is required to fully support this argument. Family stability also determines rates of suicide among the youth. The family is the institution from which the child acquires his survival skills. Studies have also revealed that probability of commission of suicide among youths from divorced families is much higher than families that remain intact (Holmes & Holmes, 2010). Parents should therefore ensure that children are loved and well catered for at the family level.

Substance abuse largely affects the youth rates of suicide. In fact, substance abuse overdose is one of the methods commonly used by the youth to execute suicide. Any attempt to intervene in the situation requires addressing the issue of substance abuse among the youths. Sexual and physical abuse also promotes incidences of suicide among the youth. Physical abuse of children, incest, sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases impact negatively on the individual and may result to suicide. Extensive Guidance and counseling and rehabilitation programs should be used to help the victims to recover. In order to provide solutions to the suicide problem, primary prevention methods should be enhanced, suicide prevention education should be promoted , at risk youth should be identified and properly treated, crisis intervention and proper treatment of survivors of suicide attempts should be embraced (Garland and Zigler, 2010).


Suicide among the youth is a complex social phenomenon that continues to draw attention in the world today.

Although there exists numerous findings and documentation on the matter, efforts to contain the situation has constantly failed. Theories that have been documented have in most cases failed in fulfilling their purpose in explaining the actual causes of suicide among the youth. Modern researchers and policy makers should therefore aim at achieving a higher understanding of the phenomena by promoting contact with the victims and the vulnerable groups to establish the root of the problem.

Reference List

Garland, A. F., & Zigler, E. (2010). Adolescent suicide prevention: Current research and social policy implications.

American Psychological Association. Retrieved October 15, 2010 from

2.169 Holmes, M. R., Holmes, T. S.

(2005) Suicide: Theory, practice, and investigation. London: Sage publication Inc. Meehan, P.

J., Lamb, J. A., Saltzman, L.E. & O’Carroll, P.W.

(1992). Attempted suicide among young adults progress towards a meaningful estimate of prevalence. American Psychiatrist Association. Retrieved October 15, 2010 from


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