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Medicineworld.org: Poor Readers Have Higher Risk Of Suicide

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Poor Readers Have Higher Risk Of Suicide

Poor Readers Have Higher Risk Of Suicide
Teenagers with reading problems are at significantly higher risk for suicide and for dropping out of school than typical readers, as per a research studyby Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers.

"In our study, poor readers were three times more likely than typical readers to consider or attempt suicide and six times more likely to drop out of school," said lead author Stephanie Sergent Daniel, Ph.D. "Educators and parents should be aware of the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior among adolescents with reading problems."

The results, reported today in the recent issue of the Journal of Learning Disabilities, are from a study of 188 students recruited from six public high schools at age 15. They were followed for a mean of 3.3 years.

Scientists initially screened 1,074 students and identified a sub-group willing to participate in the long-term study. From this group, they recruited a group of poor readers and a group of typical readers that were matched for gender and race.

Standard educational tests were used to measure single-word reading ability, one of several skills involved in reading. Students scoring in the lowest 18 percent were considered poor readers - a cutoff usually used to diagnose dyslexia. In addition, each student and his primary caretaker were interviewed by master's level trained research clinicians to assess psychiatric disorders and suicidal behaviors. The median length between interviews for students and parents was twelve months.

The follow-up interviews revealed that students with poor reading skills were more likely to experience suicidal thoughts or attempts and were more likely to drop out of school. In addition, suicidal thoughts or attempts and school drop-out were strongly linked to each other.

The scientists observed that psychiatric disorders were also correlation to thoughts of suicide and to school drop-out, but that poor reading was a risk factor on its own.

"Significant reading difficulties were independent of, or over and beyond, the risk from the psychiatric conditions," said Frank Wood, Ph.D., senior researcher. "Regardless of whether they have independent psychiatric disorders, these students begin to get depressed or suicidal in higher numbers than typical readers".

Prior studies have suggested that youths with learning disabilities are at increased risk of suicidal behavior. However, few studies have examined whether reading difficulties specifically are linked to suicide or whether there is a relationship between suicidal tendencies and school drop-out.

In addition to this study involving public school students, the scientists also noted a high suicide rate in a group of 50 randomly selected students with reading disabilities that they followed for 25 years. Four of the students died by suicide, a rate much higher than found in the general population.

However, Daniel said, "It is important to note that a significant number of students with reading problems did not drop out of school or have thoughts of suicide".

"More studies are needed to determine which youths with poor reading might be most vulnerable to these outcomes and which factors might be linked to resilience in the face of the stresses of school problems and poor reading ability," she said.


Posted by: JoAnn    Source




Did you know?
Teenagers with reading problems are at significantly higher risk for suicide and for dropping out of school than typical readers, as per a research studyby Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers. "In our study, poor readers were three times more likely than typical readers to consider or attempt suicide and six times more likely to drop out of school," said lead author Stephanie Sergent Daniel, Ph.D. "Educators and parents should be aware of the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior among adolescents with reading problems."

Medicineworld.org: Poor Readers Have Higher Risk Of Suicide

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