7 in 10 youngsters suffer stress
By Kim Rahn
About seven out of 10 youngsters are overwhelmed by stress, according to data.
The research also showed that more than 8 percent of them have thought about killing themselves during the last year due to stress and concerns about their future.
Such high stress levels are linked to the fact that the top cause of death among youth is suicide.
According to the data jointly released by Statistics Korea and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family on Wednesday, 69.6 percent of 6.6 million youngsters aged between 15 and 24 said they suffer from stress in their life overall, stemming from family life and academics.
The stress ratio in 2010 was up by 13.1 percentage points from two years ago.
The age group was not satisfied with their school life, with 44.4 percent answering they were satisfied with what they were taught at schools. They were also unhappy with the teaching methods and the relationship with their teachers.
When asked what they worry about the most, 38.6 percent answered “performance in school studies” followed by “employment” at 22.9 percent.
“In 2002, the main issue was high school grades as well. But the second serious preoccupation at that time was having a good appearance and maintaining health. Especially among those between 20 and 24 years old, about 40 percent were worrying about future jobs in 2010, a huge hike from 8.6 percent in 2002, reflecting the increased youth unemployment rate,” a ministry official said.
Without proper guidance, suicide more frequently becomes the tragic option.
The study showed 8.8 percent of young people thought about committing suicide over the last 12 months. As to the reason, more than half of those aged 15-19 cited bad school grades or inability to enter a prestigious college, while those between 20 and 24 blamed financial difficulty and unemployment.
Some actually attempted to kill themselves: the number one cause of death of the age group was suicide. Thirteen youngsters out of 100,000 committed suicide in 2010.
“The number two cause was traffic accidents, followed by cancer. But for the last 10 years, the death rates from traffic accidents or cancer have decreased, while that from suicide has risen,” the official said.
About Internet use, 97.8 percent of teenagers said they use the Internet at least once a day in 2011.
More than 10 percent of those aged between 10 and 19 were addicted to the Internet. High school students had the largest addiction ratio, at 12.4 percent.