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Study finds higher suicide risk among teens linked to social media use and atheism

A recent study, conducted by the Center for Bible Engagement at Back to the Bible in collaboration with Our Daily Bread Ministries, has revealed that teenagers who are extensively influenced by social media and lack a solid spiritual foundation are at a notably elevated risk of suicide. The study involving more than 4,700 teenagers aged 14 to 17 across nine countries, discovered a correlation between atheism, agnosticism, spiritual uncertainty, excessive use of social media, and the presence of destructive thoughts. The study specifically found that rates of destructive thoughts were more prevalent among teenagers who expressed a lack of belief in anything spiritual, experience uncertainty about their beliefs, think they have sinned and don’t believe in Jesus. In contrast, teenagers who actively engage with the Bible are considerably less prone to experiencing destructive thoughts.

Christian Headlines reports:

Teenagers who are heavily influenced by social media and who don’t have a firm spiritual grounding have a significantly higher risk for suicide, according to a new study.

The study of over 4,700 teens ages 14 to 17 in nine countries found a correlation between atheism/agnosticism/spiritual uncertainty, heavy use of social media and destructive thoughts. Specifically, “rates of destructive thoughts are more common among teens who express that they don’t believe in anything spiritual, are uncertain about their beliefs, or believe they sin, but don’t believe in Jesus,” the study found.

The study by the Center for Bible Engagement at Back to the Bible in partnership with Our Daily Bread Ministries called itself “one of the first studies to consider the relationships among spirituality, social media, and mental health.” Destructive thoughts are a risk factor for suicidality, the study noted.

Destructive thoughts are more common among teens who, for example, endorse such beliefs as “I have no need for God,” “I’m spiritual, but don’t believe in God,” “God does not exist” and “there is no afterlife when we die.”

By comparison, teens who are engaged with the Bible are significantly less likely to have destructive thoughts, according to the study.

The study found that the “high suicide risk” among teens was linked to their “spiritual beliefs and social media experience,” according to the Center for Bible Engagement.

Read the full article here.

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