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Teenage Suicide

Teenage Suicide

by Sandra Gardner, Gary B. Rosenberg

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School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-- In this revision of their 1985 book, Gardner and Rosenberg assert that teen suicide remains a taboo subject in our society, even though talking and teaching about the problem appear to be the most effective weapons for prevention and therapy. They list danger signals, calls for help to which friends, family, teachers, and counselors should be sensitive. The middle-class youths whose cases are described here suffer from an overwhelming sense of loss, an inability to cope with distress and pain, and a hopelessness about the future. Their life experiences usually involved death or divorce, noncommunicative parents, pressure for success, and isolation from peers. At one point, the authors insist that there is no ``suicidal type.'' Later, they do speculate about genetic predisposition as one of a possible combination of contributing factors. The media that could be a means of education is strongly criticized for instances in which they have glamorized and romanticized teen suicides. Of great interest is a discussion of the puzzling phenomenon of ``cluster suicides'' that trigger one another. Peer counseling; crisis hotlines; and the Samaritans, a prevention group, are offered as hopeful innovations. Included is an up-to-date, geographically arranged list of crisis centers. On a par with Janet Kolehmainen's Teen Suicide (Lerner, 1986), this title is directed to a general audience rather than specifically to teens. --Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY

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Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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Age Range:
12 Years

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