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Talking to Teens About Smartphone Use… Like Talking About Any Other Potentially Lethal Behavior

Can smartphone use be that harmful? When we look at the recent increase in teen suicides and non-lethal self-harm, we have to ask, “What is contributing to this trend?” Over the past 10 years the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that the suicide rates for teen girls doubled while it increased by 30 percent for teen boys. A 15-year CDC study of emergency room visits for treatment of self-harming behaviors (cutting, ingesting poison or overdosing on drugs) showed relatively stable rates for boys, though an increase of 8.4 percent annually between 2008 and 2015 for girls between the ages of 10-24. Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center reports that by 2015, 73 percent of teens had smart

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