University plans Internet network study

September 1, 2006

Researchers at the University of South Florida say they plan to conduct a study on the psychosocial effects of Internet social networks on youth.

Ilene Berson, an associate professor at the school's Mental Health Institute, said she and colleagues at the school hoped to discover what effect networking sites like MySpace.com have on suicide rates, TechWeb reported Thursday.

"I've heard reports of young people who got into destructive dialogue online where they would dare each other to die, or share ways to complete the suicide successfully," Berson said. "Without doing the research we really have no idea, but it would be exciting to find that people who engage in social networking sites are less likely to commit suicide.

"We plan to submit the request for the project's federal funding in October to the National Institute of Mental Health," she said.

She said suicide is the third most common cause of death among youth ages 15 to 24, trumped only by accidents and homicides. She said her team hopes that understanding how young people communicate about suicide online could help build prevention initiatives.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Mystery of exploding stars yields to astrophysicists

Related Stories

When the job search becomes a blame game

January 27, 2014

Searching for a job is tough—and the nature of the hiring process in the United States makes matters far tougher, and more emotionally fraught for workers, than it needs to be.

MIT to release documents about activist Swartz (Update)

March 19, 2013

(AP)—The president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced Tuesday that the school will voluntarily release public documents related to the prosecution of free-information activist Aaron Swartz, who hanged ...

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Not another new phone! But Nextbit's Robin is smarter

September 2, 2015

San Francisco-based Nextbit wants you to meet Robin, which they consider as the smarter smartphone. Their premise is that no one is making a smart smartphone; when you get so big it's hard to see the forest through the trees. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.