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mental health

The gender gap in youth suicide rates is getting smaller

Young girls are increasingly likely to commit suicide, narrowing the longstanding gap between male and female suicide rates, according to a study published Friday in JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed suicide rates from 1975 to 2016 in kids and teens ages 10 to 19, finding that rates peaked in 1993 and then declined until 2007, at which point they began to increase again.

During this time, 80 percent of suicides were boys and 20 percent were girls; however, starting in 2007, the rate among girls ages 10 to 14 increased by 12.7 percent per year versus 7.1 percent for boys. Girls ages 15 to 19 saw an increase of 7.9 percent, and boys in the same age group had a 3.5 percent increase, reports CNN.

Boys remained significantly more likely to commit suicide with a firearm than girls were, per CNN.

The study, which was conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, did not examine the causes of the increased rates. Experts told CNN social media was likely a factor.