Surprising Number Of Teens Think They'll Die Young

New research suggests a surprising number of teenagers -- nearly 15 percent -- think they're going to die young, leading many to drug use, suicide attempts and other unsafe behavior.

The study challenges conventional wisdom that says teens engage in risky behavior because they think they're invulnerable to harm. Instead, study author Dr. Iris Borowsky of the University of Minnesota says a sizable number of teens may take chances "because they feel hopeless and figure that not much is at stake."

Such behavior threatens to turn their fatalism into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Over seven years, kids who thought they would die early were seven times more likely than optimistic kids to be subsequently diagnosed with AIDS. They also were more likely to attempt suicide and get in fights resulting in serious injuries.

The study appears in the July issue of Pediatrics.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by bill Location: jamesville on Jun 30, 2009 at 04:48 AM
    They are stupid for thinking they will die young. That is why they are on drugs, stupid kids
  • by Ryan Location: Greenville on Jun 29, 2009 at 05:21 PM
    Yup, all of you "usual suspects" have it right again. Society can blame the current demise of our society here, along with the corrupting influence of current music. I say let's all cluck indignant about rap. This youthful pessimism must be related to the hip-hop artist 50 Cent. You know, he is the one that wrote the nihilistic lyrics: "I hope I die before I get old"! No wait, that was Pete Townshend. And the year was 1965. Dang. Now, back to your regularly scheduled Chicken Little Sky is Falling, hand-wringing, doom. Obama Snake Oil- this is yet again another PERFECT topic for you to reach for an obscure, tangential reference blaming the current administration of 5 months. You have not posted on this topic as yet, and I have not seen a post by you in nearly an hour. I am worried. Are you feeling OK? Or do you really have people and things in your life outside of this message board? Huh?
  • by Mike Location: Edenton on Jun 29, 2009 at 03:51 PM
    Yeah, if they think they will die young they are taking the right road to help it along. Personally If I thought my time was just around the corner I'd be seeking Jesus!
  • by Scooter on Jun 29, 2009 at 01:54 PM
    Sadly many of them are right that they do not have much to live for. All they do is play video games and burden society with their problems.
  • by ace Location: plymouth on Jun 29, 2009 at 01:30 PM
    You got that backwards. They rationalize drug use so they can justify drug use. You must remember that drug users are the best liars (Except ploiticans). If their lips are moving they are lying.
  • by Derek Location: Greenville on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:45 AM
    For once I agree with you Mr. T. The viral video effect on our culture has sure lowered the expectation bar for the younger generation.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 29, 2009 at 08:55 AM
    With the way this country is going, what will there be to live long for. You won't be able to afford electric, food, water or any other basic needs.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jun 29, 2009 at 08:15 AM
    Judging from how dumb a lot of the teenagers seem to be nowadays, I think they may be right.I'm not talking about book sense, or sense about electronic devices. I'm talking about the dumb stunts that they pull all the time. Just look at some of the TV shows to see what I mean.
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