Internet suicide searches and the incidence of suicide in young people in Japan

Akihito Hagihara, Shogo Miyazaki, Takeru Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although several case reports have suggested a relationship between accessing Internet suicide sites and the incidence of suicide, the influence of the Internet on the incidence of suicide is not known. Thus, we examined the association between Internet suicide-related searches and the incidence of suicide in 20-and 30-year-old individuals in Japan. The Box-Jenkins transfer function model was applied to monthly time series data from January 2004 to May 2010 (77 months). The terms ''hydrogen sulfide, '' ''hydrogen sulfide suicide, '' and ''suicide hydrogen sulfide suicide'' at (t-11) were related to the incidence of suicide among people aged in their 20 s (P = 0.005, 0.005, and 0.006, respectively) and people aged in their 30 s (P = 0.013, 0.011, and 0.012, respectively). ''BBS on suicide'' at (t-5) and ''suicide by jumping'' at (t-6) were related to the incidence of suicide in people aged 30-39 (P = 0.006 and 0.001, respectively). Internet searches for specific suicide-related terms are related to the incidence of suicide among 20-and 30-year-old individuals in Japan. Routine interrogation by a clinician about visiting Internet suicide websites and stricter regulation of these websites may reduce the incidence of suicide among young people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Volume262
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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