August 30, 2013 08:31
One in four adolescents in the capital have felt suicidal, according to a survey by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
The city government polled 1,320 schoolchildren and university students between 9 and 24, and 25.6 percent answered that they have felt suicidal impulses.
School grades and academic prospects were the biggest factor with 29.5 percent, loneliness came second with 17.6 percent, and family discord followed with 16.1 percent.
When asked whether they have ever run away from home, 8.2 percent said yes. Conflict with parents was the top reason with 45 percent, followed by desire to have fun with 26.1 percent and a quest for freedom with 26.1 percent.
The average age when they first ran away was 14.3 years old, and 76.4 percent stayed away for less than a week. More than half or 52.7 percent went to a friend's house, 11.6 percent on the street, into empty houses or subway stations, and 9.8 percent hung out in video rental rooms or Internet cafes.
They most worried about their appearance, height and weight, followed by studies and job prospects. But some 11.3 percent said they have no worries. Girls were more concerned about looks than studies, and boys the other way round.
Many of the respondents started using a mobile phone in fourth and fifth grade. The average time they spent on their smartphones was 2.96 hours on weekdays and 3.97 hours at weekends.
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