Monday, 13 November 2017

English - Research Report: What is NZ's Teen Suicide Trigger?

Hello, again! This is my research report I handed in for English earlier in the year. I've used that phrase a bit, haven't I? Earlier in the year...

I should just point out that the

Hypothesis: New Zealand’s high teen suicide rate is mainly due to family problems in the home.

Key Questions:
  • What are the causes of teen suicide inside the home?
  • What are the causes of teen suicide outside the home?

Prior Knowledge
Before I began my research I was aware of the news surrounding New Zealand’s high teen suicide rate. I know during one time scrolling through the NZ Herald that there was this special series on youth suicide in New Zealand called Behind The Silence.

Question One: What are the causes of teen suicide from inside the home?
According to newspaper website NZ Herald, factors such as poor families/poor upbringing and family changes at a young age contributed to teen suicide. In addition, BBC News pointed out a “toxic mix” of family violence, child poverty, and child abuse in recent years. It’s possible to point out that Former speaker on suicide prevention Mike King pointed out in a More FM interview that the lack of communication between teenagers and parents was responsible, as with teenager’s emotional invalidation as a result of lack of communication. In contrast, a 1NEWS report found that the modern social pressures surrounding them are to blame for the spike in teen suicide rates.

From these facts, I conclude that teen suicide is the result of causes that go further than family violence, like family changes when the teen is at a young age, or a poor upbringing.

Question Two: What are the causes of teen suicide from outside the home?
Despite revealing family violence, child poverty, and child abuse in recent years, BBC News suggested other factors contributing to teen suicide in New Zealand. Modern social pressures teenagers face in the 21st Century world. BBC News suggested that the traditional male culture (including the rugby culture) could be putting pressure on male teenagers to be more masculine and toughen up. While going through the NZ Herald news article special Break The Silence, there was an article that was about the surge in teen suicides in Northland back in 2012 - and a Year 11 student at the time who became aware of the surge made notes on the possibilities of teen suicide, pointing out (and leading back to) alcohol and drugs, unrealistic views on life as teenagers, and cyberbullying. Coronial findings into 19 suicide cases in 2012 from the NZ Herald in the same article further supported the causes relating to lifestyle, suggesting that binge-drinking, drugs, teen pregnancy and gangs associated with teen suicide. In contrast, the coronial findings also founded disjointed families as one of the possibilities for teen suicide.
From these facts, I conclude that there are more causes outside the home than there are for inside the home.


Based on the conclusions to my two key questions, I disagree with the hypothesis and generally conclude that there are many more causes for teen suicide outside the home than there are inside the home. Especially since for causes inside the home, it doesn’t stop at family problems, there are factors in the family such as the disjointment of the family and/or poor upbringing from the family that result in some teen suicides in New Zealand.

Evaluation of sources

The most useful source for me was the NZ Herald since it provided deep and relevant information about not just suicide stories and experiences from people affected by youth suicide, but also the causes of suicide and ways of preventing it from rising in the future.

I wouldn’t say there was a source that was least useful, only sources like the book Need To Know: Teenage Suicide which while giving in-depth information about teen suicide, was not completely relevant to the key questions.

Need To Know: Teenage Suicide by Claire Wallerstein

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