Goth Teens Have Higher Depression, Suicide Risk

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Teens who engage in the goth culture, which is characterized by black clothing, black make-up and music with lyrics that focus on melancholy and death may be at increase risk of depression or harming themselves.

University of Oxford researchers looked at data from 3,694 teens who took part in the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. They were asked about depression and self-harm, as well as what youth subcultures they identified with.

Teens who identified strongly with the goth movement at age 15 years were three times more likely to be clinically depressed, and five times more likely to self-harm at age 18 years compared with their peers who did not identify with the subculture, the researchers reported in the Lancet. Young people who described themselves as “sporty” were the least likely to develop depression or self-harm thoughts.

However, the researchers cautioned that since they conducted an observational study, cause and effect is difficult to identify, so it cannot be concluded that being a goth increases the likelihood of depression.

Goth Teens Have Higher Depression, Suicide Risk
Teens who identified as Goth were were three times more likely to be clinically depressed and five times more likely to self-harm.

New research published in the Lancet indicates that young people who consider themselves to be part of the goth subculture might be at increased risk of depression and self-harm.

Researchers from the University of Oxford, UK, analyzed data from 3694 teenagers who participated in the UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to investigate whether there is any substance behind this supposed association. The teenagers had provided information on self-harm and depressive mood and the extent to which they identified with a range of youth subcultures, including the goth movement, aged 15 years.

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