Causes Of Teenagers Suicide Tendencies In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Ibeju Lekki)
This study focused on the causes of teenagers suicide tendencies in Nigeria (a Case Study Of Ibeju Lekki). The study is was specifically focused on examining the the prevalence of completed suicide among teenagers in Ibeju Lekki; the prevalence of suicidal attempts among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki; the prevalence of suicidal ideation among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki the prevalence of indirect self-destructive behaviours among the teenagers in Of Ibeju Lekki and preventive measures against the prevalence of suicidal behaviours based on teenagers characteristics (sex and year of study). The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 259 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are teenagers in Ibeju Lekki.
Table of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background to the Study
Suicidal behaviour is any deliberate action with potentially life-threatening consequences, such as taking a drug overdose, deliberately crashing a car. Suicidal behaviours often occur in response to a situation that the person views overwhelming (Hudgens, 2003), such as social isolation, death of a loved one, emotional trauma, serious physical illness, aging, unemployment, or financial problems, guilty feelings or dependence on alcohol or other drugs.
Suicidal behaviour has been reported in technically advanced countries of the world as a leading cause of psychiatric emergencies among children and adolescents (Robert, 2008), and one of the strongest predicators of psychiatric admission for adolescents, he concluded. In the United States, for example, suicidal ideation and attempts among adolescents have been reported as being increasingly recognized as important public health problem (Stone, 2001). Epidemiological studies suggest that lifetime prevalence of suicidal attempts among high school students range from 3.5 to 9.0 per cent (Andrews & Lewinsohn, 2002). The Centre for Disease Control (2006) reported that suicide was the third leading cause of death among the males ages 13 to 29 years in 2004, accounting for 14.6 per cent in that age group in USA.
George (2007) viewed suicidal behaviour in a metaphorical sense as willful destruction of one’s self-interest. Walter, Vaughan, Armstrong, Krakoff, Maldononado, Tiezzi and McCarthy (2005) defined suicidal behaviour as intent to commit suicide or as having ever attempted suicide in lifetime. It implies all the intentions, ideations or actions pertaining to, leading to or involving suicide (Kastenbaum & Kastenbaum, 1993; George, 2007). Suicidal behaviour demonstrates that something is fundamentally wrong either with the individual or with the situation in which the individuals exist or with both the individual and the situation. Suicidal behaviour is a conglomeration of some seemingly insurmountable personal problems of individuals which makes them think that the only solution is to die. Their main purpose is to seek a solution to an overwhelming problem. Kerkof (2004) stated that suicidal behaviour is sometimes associated with the mental health status of individuals who cannot cope with their lives.
Suicidal behaviour involves not only the pain, but also the individual’s unwillingness to tolerate that pain, the decision not to endure it, and the active will to stop it (Kerkof, 2004). Continuing, he maintained that suicidal behaviuor is more prevalent among young women, people with low socio-economic status such as low educational levels, the unemployed, the disabled, the divorced, the separated, and those with terminal illnesses. This view was supported by Bertolote, Fleischmann, De-Leo, and Wasserman (2004). The picture that emerges is that of powerless groups or those with little chances to improve themselves, facing problems in finding a place in the society, and having many emotional and relationship problems as well. In this study, therefore, suicidal behaviour denotes both social conditions and individual maladaptation.
Notably, Robert (2008) also classified suicidal behaviour into four, namely: completed suicide, suicidal attempts, suicidal ideation, and self-destructive acts. According to him, completed suicide, is a behaviour that results in the death of the victim. Suicide attempts involve a suicidal behaviour where the attempter survives. Suicidal ideation includes all overt suicidal behaviours and communications such as suicide threats and expressions of wish to die. Self- destructive acts include behaviours that do not lead to immediate death but gradually lead to death after a long time such as alcoholism, sex abuse and drug abuse. Many Nigerian students face some excruciating economic difficulties such as inability to pay their school fees, purchase essential textbooks for their courses, feed and clothe themselves or cope with academic work, and obtain good medical care while on campus (Eneh, 1998). These economic difficulties could predispose them to suicidal behaviours which could be found among the students of various universities in Nigeria. These suicidal behaviours include, completed suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal ideation, and indirect self-destructive behaviours such as alcoholism, substance abuse, possession of lethal weapons, cultism, sexual abuse, reckless driving, armed robbery, and abuse of electrical appliances. The prevalence of these suicidal behaviours was investigated in the present study.
Various factors have been adduced to be associated with suicidal and self-destructive behaviours. These factors include depression, alcoholism, hopelessness, substance abuse, possession of lethal weapons, terminal illness, loss of loved ones, crashing of a booming business, among others. Depression refers to a state of heavy sadness, low spirit and isolation. Depression when accompanied by psychosis or anxiety could trigger off the feeling of despondency and suicidal ideation. A person in this frame of mind could resort to suicidal behaviours. Experts show a high incidence of psychiatric disorders in suicide victims at the time of their deaths with the total figure ranging from 68 to 87.3 per cent (Green & Irish, 2008). Long lasting sadness and mood swings can be symptoms of depression and a major risk factor for suicide.
Alcoholism is a state of poisoning by excessive consumption of alcohol. Robert, (2008) maintained that alcoholism is linked to hopelessness for inducing suicidal behaviour. He asserted that when hopelessness is accompanied by intoxication, it can intensify suicidal feelings. Drunkenness may intensify feelings of depression, panic and anxiety that can cause blurred vision, false sense of estimation and judgment while driving. This can lead to fatal accidents that may sometimes affect the university students. Experts have found that higher levels of suicide attempts were associated with alcoholism (LaFromboise, 2003; Moscicki, 2004; May & McClosky, 2005). Alcohol also reduces self-control. About 30 per cent of people who attempt suicide drink alcohol before the attempt. Because alcoholism, particularly, binge drinking, often causes deep feeling of remorse during dry periods, alcoholics are suicide-prone even when sober (Robert, 2008).
Possession of lethal weapons also influences the degree of lethality of suicidal attempt. Hudgens (2003); DeSpelder, and Strickland (1987) reported that an environmental factor related to suicidal behaviour is the easy access to instrument of self-destruction. Pfeffer (1999a) also reported that possession of lethal weapons predisposes one to attempt to make use of the weapons already possessed. Eneh (1998) also stated that it is the availability of firearms that makes a suicidal attempt easy or fatal. Possession of lethal weapons in conjunction with many other variables may precipitate the use of the weapons already available.
People with terminal illness, such as cancer, AIDS, and other disorders that affect nervous system and brain (such as dementia, or temporal lobe epilepsy) can lead to suicidal and self- destructive behaviours (Adams, 2008). Other mental health disorders besides depression also put people at risk of suicide. People with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders may hear voices (auditory hallucinations) commanding them to kill themselves. People with borderline personality disorders or antisocial personality, especially those with a history of violent behaviour, may use suicide gesture or attempted suicide as a means of getting back at someone or making a statement. Most people who attempt suicide do not complete suicide on a first attempt; those who later gain a history of repetitions have a significantly higher probability of eventual completion of suicide (Shaffer, 2008).
Reckless driving by some university students who sometimes carry their parents’ cars for a jamboree is a form of suicidal behaviour. They may engage in excessive speed and dangerous overtaking after drinking which may sometimes lead to premature and reckless deaths through road accidents.
Suicidal ideations, which are suicide gestures, thoughts, and plans about suicide, are precursors to suicide attempt or completed suicide. Suicidal ideation is a known risk factor for suicidal attempt, which in turn increases risk for suicidal death (CDC, 2006; Denise, Middlebrook, Pamela, LeMaster, Janette, Douglas, & Spero, 2008). They may reflect pleas for help from people who still wish to live and should not be dismissed lightly. For one to commit or attempt suicide one has to think about doing so, plan about the execution and even writes death threats; and these are ideations. Ideation precedes all planned suicides or suicide attempts except accidental suicides or death. No completed suicide or attempted suicide will be carried out without thinking about it, planning it, and sometimes writing death threats. All these are suicidal ideations (George, 2007). Whereas suicidal ideation is more common among girls than among boys in adolescence (Evans, Hawton, Rodham, & Deeks, 2005), the association of ideation with suicide attempt does not differ by sex (Reinherz, Tanner, Berger, Beardslee & Fitzmaurice, 2006). Evans, Hawton, Rodham, and Deeks, (2005) asserted that, although, girls more often attempt suicide, boys more often employ lethal means to do so and more often die by suicide. National Institute of Mental Health, (2003); and Kuen, (2006), maintained that a better understanding of the prevalence of suicidal ideation and other symptoms of affective disorders in adolescents and young adults is of special interest, given efforts then to increase identification and treatment of men’s depression. Suicidal ideation, according to Rhodes, Lewinsohn, and Seeley (1995) is the least commonly endorsed symptom of major depressive disorder (MDD) among adolescents experiencing an episode (54.5 %), yet the presence of suicidal ideation is an important prognostic (foretelling or warning) indicator as it is linked with worse clinical features of MDD among adolescents, including earlier first on-set, longer episode duration, and shorter time to recurrence. Suicidal behaviour has been conceptualized as a continuum from suicidal ideation to attempts and then completed suicide. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts are common among young people (Gould, Greenberg, Velting, & Shaffer, 2003; Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi & Lozano, 2002), and are important factors for completed suicide in both short-term and long-term longitudinal studies (Brown, Beck, Steer, & Grisham, 2000).
Studies have been carried out on cumulative prevalence of suicidal behaviours of youths in technically advanced countries of the world (Reynolds & Mazza, 2000; Roberts, 2002; Shaffer & Hicks, 2004). The results of these studies showed that the suicide rate varied by age groups. Of all age groups, they reported, the elderly have the highest suicide rates, particularly white men over the age of 75. This high rate of suicide among the elderly people was adduced by the researchers to be due to the debilitating effects of physical illness, loss of social roles and relationships, and untreated depression. Moscicki (2003) and National Centre for Health Statistics (2004) carried out studies on the cumulative prevalence of suicidal behaviours of youths in United States of America. The results of the studies revealed that suicide was the third leading cause of death for persons aged 15 to 24. The reason for this they adduced, was associated with a greater prevalence of mental illness in young people, increased use of drugs in this population, and the availability of firearms in the homes. Suicidal behaviours have also been cumulatively reported to be a strong predictor of psychiatric hospital admissions in United States (Safer, 2007). The consequences and precursors of suicidal behaviours tend to point to the youths (the age bracket of the student population in Nigeria). In Nigeria, there is paucity of data on the suicidal behaviours of youths, especially the undergraduates of universities, and this may affect the prevalence of suicidal behaviours.
It was further pointed out that people who receive support from caring friends and family, and who have access to mental health services are less likely to act on their suicidal impulses than are those who are isolated from sources of care and support. Epidemiological studies suggest that lifetime prevalence of suicidal behaviours among high school students in developed countries of the world ranged from 3.5 per cent to 9 per cent (Andrews & Lewinsohn, 2002). How relevant these experiences are in developing nations like Nigeria still remains an area requiring investigation, and this is the reason for this study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Ideally, youths should be made to study under conducive environment without undue stress. Conducive environment constitutes of a condition devoid of economic, financial, social, and psychological problems. This, however appears not to be so with students in Nigerian universities. According to Eneh (1998), many Nigerian youths face some excruciating economic difficulties such as inability to pay their school fees, purchase essential textbooks for their courses, feed and clothe themselves or cope with academic work, and obtain good medical care while on campus. These unaccomplished needs among others may culminate in suicidal behaviours (Eneh, 1998).
These suicidal behaviours such as completed suicides, attempted suicides, suicidal ideation, and indirect self-destructive behaviours (such as alcoholism, substance abuse, possession of lethal weapons, cultism, sex abuse, and armed robbery) by students in our universities constitute significant public health concerns. The question therefore arises as to whether there are cases of suicidal behaviours among the university undergraduates in the above mentioned geopolitical zone of the country. If there are, which preventive measures against such behaviours are appropriate? These, in the main, constitute the problem of the study.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the causes of teenagers suicide tendencies in Nigeria (a Case Study Of Ibeju Lekki). Specifically, the study sought to find out:
- The prevalence of completed suicide among teenagersin Ibeju Lekki;
- The prevalence of suicidal attempts among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki;
- The prevalence of suicidal ideation among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki;
- The prevalence of indirect self-destructive behaviours among the teenagers in Of Ibeju Lekki; and
- Preventive measures against the prevalence of suicidal behaviours based on teenagers characteristics (sex and year of study).
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions have been posed to guide the study.
- What is the prevalence of completed suicide among teenagers in Ibeju Lekki?
- What is the prevalence of suicidal attempts among teenagers in Ibeju Lekki?
- What is the prevalence of suicidal ideation among teenagers in Ibeju Lekki?
- What is the prevalence of self-destructive behaviours (alcoholism, drug abuse, sex abuse, cultism, armed robbery and so on) among teenagers in Ibeju Lekki?
- What preventive measures are adopted against suicidal behaviours among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki?
The null hypothesis were formulated for the present study.
HO1: Gender has no significant influence on the prevalence of suicidal behaviours among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki(p < .05).
1.6 Significance of the Study
The benefits that shall accrue from this study are many. The results of the findings from the data analysed on the prevalence of completed suicide and suicidal attempts it is hoped, would enable the health educators to suggest intervention and prevention strategies appropriate for tennagers at risk for suicidal behaviours. It would help sociologists and other educators to provide intervention programmes to prevent premature deaths due to suicides across the lifespan in Nigeria. It is expected also that the results of the findings from the study will help to reduce the harmful after-effects associated with suicidal behaviours and traumatic impacts of suicide on family members and significant others, as well as reduce the social stigma attached to family members of people who commit or attempt suicide. This might be achieved if the isolation and stigmatization of family members of suicide victims are prevented or minimized. The finding will also help to ginger up the various universities in Nigeria to establish suicide prevention strategy centers with telephone ‘hotline’ services. These centers should be managed by professionally trained suicidologists or medical practitioners versed in identification and treatment of risk factors associated with suicidal behaviours.
The results of the findings from the analysis of data on the prevalence of suicidal ideation will help the psychiatrists and suicidologists to identify early enough students with signs of depression, schizophrenia and other mood problems and to treat them before they start attempting suicide. It will also help guidance counsellors to plan out programmes of activities to enable the students reduce incidences and prevalence of suicidal ideation through a co-ordinated and planned programme of guidance counselling in the universities. A well-coordinated and planned programme of guidance counselling for students in our universities, it is expected, would decrease risk and/or increase protective factors against such suicidal ideation behaviour.
The result of the present finding, it is hoped, would help to improve social integration and social regulation and might reduce social isolation and social withdrawal among the undergraduates of Nigerian universities. In other words, it might help improve the relationship between the individual student and the social setting in which he or she finds him/herself, and also improve further research and expansion of body of knowledge.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study on causes of teenagers suicide tendencies in nigeria was limited to Ibeju Lekki. The prevalence of completed suicide, suicidal attempts, suicidal ideation and indirect self- destructive behaviours with their sub-groups was investigated. This is because these behaviours seem to be more among youths, majority of who are found in our universities. The influence of gender and students’ year of study on the prevalence of their suicidal behaviours was also ascertained.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Mental disorders physical disorders and substance abuse.
Suicidal ideation, or suicidal thoughts, means having thoughts, ideas, or ruminations about the possibility of ending one’s own life..
1.10 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the causes of teenagers suicide tendencies in Nigeria (a Case Study Of Ibeju Lekki). The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on the causes of teenagers suicide tendencies in Nigeria (a Case Study Of Ibeju Lekki).
The study is was specifically focused on examining the the prevalence of completed suicide among teenagers in Ibeju Lekki; the prevalence of suicidal attempts among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki; the prevalence of suicidal ideation among the teenagers in Ibeju Lekki the prevalence of indirect self-destructive behaviours among the teenagers in Of Ibeju Lekki and preventive measures against the prevalence of suicidal behaviours based on teenagers characteristics (sex and year of study)..
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 259 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are teenagers in Ibeju Lekki.
With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;
- There was very low prevalence of completed suicide among the undergraduates.
- There was very low prevalence of suicidal attempts among the undergraduates.
- There was low prevalence of suicidal ideation among the undergraduates.
- There was low prevalence of self-destructive behaviours among the undergraduates.
- The undergraduates accepted that all the enumerated preventive measures were applied in their universities for prevention against suicidal behaviours.
- Gender had no significant influence on the prevalence of suicidal behaviours among the undergraduates.
Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;
The following recommendations have been made based on the findings and discussions.
- Since there was very low prevalence of suicidal behaviours among the students, efforts should be intensified to maintain the tempo through public information and education about the dangers of known risk factors of suicidal behaviours.
- Since suicide is a social-health problem, there should be a Nigerian research on the causes of suicidal behaviours, the stigma of suicide victims, and the need for effective reporting of suicidal cases. This will help in formulating a blue print for preventive intervention strategies and service delivery in Nigeria, and effective reporting of suicide cases without molestations.
- There should be the teaching of suicide education and prevention in schools and colleges. For this to be meaningful, suicide education should be capable of loading its contents with topics such as signs, myths and facts about suicide, factors associated with suicide and the possible ways of helping the suicidal persons.
- Government should provide suicide counselling personnel who will always be available to offer assistance to those in need. A body for coordinating efforts on suicide prevention should be formed in the universities. Seminars on dangers of drug abuse, possession of lethal weapons should be organized regularly for the students.
- Bulletins on suicidology should be mounted; prevention centres whose scope should not only be that of preventing suicide but also handling other psychological and emotional problems of crisis nature should be opened. These centres could be staffed through volunteer agencies, mental health services, public health departments and hospitals. Programmes of preventive intervention strategies should be organized in the various universities for the students.
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