Home News After Teen’s Suicide, a New Jersey Community Grapples With Bullying

After Teen’s Suicide, a New Jersey Community Grapples With Bullying


Mr. Kuch said Adriana, his youngest child, was one of nine in a blended family with his wife, Sarah. He and others said that Adriana had been a happy teenager who loved animals, spent time with the younger triplets of a neighbor across the street and rescued one of them from a pool.

“My daughter is strong,” he said. “She loved life. I can’t believe they broke her.”

Most children who are bullied do not take their own lives. And experts say the factors that lead to suicide are complicated and often cannot be traced to any single cause.

But there is a strong correlation between bullying and suicidal thoughts as well as attempts, several studies have shown.

“Bullying is a violent act, and the person who is bullied is victimized,” said Dr. Jeanne Craft, the past president of New Jersey’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Some children have the resilience to respond to that with strength, and some need help. And if they don’t get help, it can have devastating consequences, including suicide.”

A study published in 2022 found that adolescents who experienced cyberbullying were more than four times as likely to report suicidal thoughts and attempts as those who did not. When the researchers adjusted for other factors such as family conflict, racial discrimination, parental monitoring and support at school, the association between cyberbullying and suicidal behavior was not as strong, but still remained significant.

“We need to help kids be able to process and share with others that they are going through that experience,” said Michael A. Lindsey, dean of the New York University Silver School of Social Work, who studies child and adolescent mental health. “It can really render someone incredibly vulnerable to self-harm.”

According to new data released on Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three in five teenage girls felt persistent sadness in 2021, double the rate of boys, and one in three girls seriously considered attempting suicide. The rates of sadness were the highest reported in a decade.

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