Discuss adolescent suicide, noting contributing factors (nature vs. nurture) and gendered, ethnical, and national variations.

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Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds. The risk for suicide increases dramatically when kids and teens have access to firearms. Teenage years are a unique time in a person's life. The time between childhood and adulthood can be full of possibilities. However, it can also...

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Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds. The risk for suicide increases dramatically when kids and teens have access to firearms. Teenage years are a unique time in a person's life. The time between childhood and adulthood can be full of possibilities. However, it can also be full of lots of stress and worry.

There are a variety of factors that can increase a teenager's risk of suicide. This is a list that includes psychological disorders like depression, and alcohol or drug abuse. Other factors that put a teen at risk include a family history of depression or suicide, abuse, social isolation, and dealing with homosexuality in an unsupportive environment.

Researchers have also established that there is a substantial genetic contribution to suicidal behavior. For example, one study found that genetic variation in the noradrenergic tyrosine hydroxylase gene was associated with an angry/hostile personality trait and vulnerability to stress. Findings like this underscore the fact nature does play a role in determining a teen's risk for suicidal behavior.

Nurture also plays a role in determining a teenager's risk of suicidal behavior. In this context, nurture could involve how a teen was taught to interact with others while growing up. If they were taught to avoid connecting with others, they may not have the support system they need to rely on if they start to experience depression. In many cases, the way that a child is raised is also a factor of their gender and ethnicity. This would also go into the nurture category.

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