Writing style could help detect suicidal youth via online platforms through identification of: internal attribution, excessive self-focus and higher psychological pain and cognitive constriction . Social media content on self-harm is not always used to actively encourage others to self-harm, but predominantly to express difficult emotions and inspire recovery [31▪▪]. For some young people, the anonymous potential of social media/internet may make it an easier place to express themselves and find support, beyond what can be offered via conventional means.
We did not include studies with participants 19 years or over, or which referred to ‘suicidal behaviour’ where suicide or suicide attempts were not specified. These narrow criteria, as well as exclusion of grey literature and non-English language publications may have excluded relevant studies. Further, the heterogeneity of exposure and outcome measures made synthesizing evidence challenging and prevented the combination of studies in a meta-analysis. However, the specific nature of our question has highlighted the existing literature on suicide, suicide attempts and social media/internet use and will be relevant to child and adolescent clinicians, as well as highlighting areas of interest for future study.
Papers of particular interest, published within the annual period of review, have been highlighted as:
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