Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Nursing Research

Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Nursing Research

Problem Statement

Suicide among children and young adults has become an increasingly significant public health issue today. There is significant evidence indicating that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young adults aged 10 to 24 years (Cha, 2018). The teen years are an unsettling period for both boys and girls and the confusion that comes with new experiences may be contributing to increased suicide rates. Suicide can have significant effects on the family and community, not only because of the lives lost, but also psychosocial effects on society (Bilsen, 2018). To address this problem it is important to understand the contributing factors and reasons why teens make bad choices. Gaining insight into the possible contributing factors to suicide can guide the formulation of appropriate solutions.

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The increased rate of suicide among children and young adults can be attributed to several factors. Scholars believe that the rapid changes in the lives of these populations affect decision-making, especially in those that lack proper directions (Bilsen, 2018). For instance, youths have to make key decisions about their friends, school life, and living situations. These individuals must address new challenges concerning the buildup of their identity, forming new relationships, and acquiring independence. These changes may overwhelm children and youths leading to irrational decision-making. In addition, the youths are continuously undergoing psychological and physical processes that may invoke a certain degree of helplessness and stress (Cha, 2018). Such factors should be clearly understood and looked into if the challenge of suicide among this population is to be reduced.

Everybody agrees that suicide can be caused by many factors and each case is highly unique. Overall, suicide is caused by an interplay of social, psychological, genetic, and biological factors. One of the widely studied areas involves the link between mental health and suicide. According to research, about 90% of the people who commit suicide have suffered from at least one mental health disorder (Bilsen, 2018). Mental health disorders like depression are observed to have significant effects on suicide among youths. Substance abuse among young adults causes impaired judgment that is observed to increase the risk of suicide. In other cases, anxiety disorders and personality issues can increase an individual’s risk for suicide (Shankar et al., 2020). Apart from the known causes, previous suicidal attempts and a history of self-harm are linked with suicide. For example, boys with previous suicidal attempts have 30 fold suicide risk compared to girls. Such issues make mental health a key area of focus in this research.

The impact of suicide is far-reaching and devastating not just to the person taking their life, but also to the family and friends. Suicide among children and youths can lead to a total change in the lives of families. Most people go into depression and prolonged grief (Shankar et al., 2020). Suicide can have a lasting impact on the mental health of those left behind and others may indulge in irresponsible activities like substance use as a means of coping. In children, experiencing this event can have long-lasting effects on their development, affect schooling, and impact their social behaviors (Bilsen, 2018). To society, suicide is a problem that causes loss to the workforce that later affects the economy, and prevents social and economic developments. Ultimately, suicide has a lasting impact on those affected, and investigating this problem can help to improve the health outcomes of populations.

Purpose of the Study

Children and young adults are by nature vulnerable to many problems and suicide is an observed trend in this population. The purpose of this study is to investigate the causes of increased suicide cases among children and young adults. This research will unfold specific factors that increase the risk of suicide among the study population and how these factors differ from other populations. Because suicide is greatly linked to mental health issues, this study will uncover underlying mental health issues among children and youths that contribute to the risk of suicide. In addition, the study will explore the role of family ties and family-related problems that may be contributing to the risk of suicide among the study population. Lastly, this study will unfold personal factors that may have some connections with the risk of suicide among children and young adults.

Advocacy and Social Change

The purpose of this study is closely linked to the areas of advocacy and social change for children and young adults. Firstly, advocacy for this group deals with the development of social, emotional, and behavioral well-being (American Psychological Association, 2021). This research will provide knowledge that can promote health promotion and implementation of preventive practices to ensure children’s and adolescents’ well-being. Some issues like violence, child abuse, and trauma can be uncovered to guide interventions in families and communities. These aspects align with the American Psychological Association’s advocacy for policies to prevent child abuse and the availability of essential services for children who have experienced trauma (American Psychological Association, 2021). Regarding the aspect of social change, there are various support groups available in communities to help children and youths with mental health issues. This study will uncover interventions like peer support and other community resources that can be utilized to minimize suicide among children and young adults.


American Psychological Association. (2021). Children, youths, and families.

Bilsen, J. (2018). Suicide and youth: Risk factors. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 540.

Cha, C. B., Franz, P. J., M. Guzmán, E., Glenn, C. R., Kleiman, E. M., & Nock, M. K. (2018). Annual Research Review: Suicide among youth–epidemiology,(potential) etiology, and treatment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry59(4), 460-482.

Shankar, R., El Kady, R., & Aggarwal, A. (2020). Youth suicide: A population crying for help? A system overloaded? Who can help?. Missouri Medicine117(4), 370–374.

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