A new study out of Glasgow University has linked the instance of self-harm, attempted suicide and suicide with the "Goth" lifestyle.
"Although only fairly small numbers of young people identify themselves as belonging to the Goth subculture, rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are very high among this group," said Robert Young, lead researcher of the Glasgow University study.
The Scottish team described Goths as being a subgenre of Punk "with a dark and sinister aesthetic, with aficionados conspicuous by their range of distinctive clothing and makeup and tastes in music".
Shock rockers such as Marilyn Manson are said to be popular amongst Goths and the subculture has often attracted suspicion and criticism from the media.
Two U.S. students who massacred 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 were said to have been fascinated by the Goth image.
The Glasgow researchers studied of 1,258 young people who were quizzed at the ages of 11, 13, 15 and 19 about self harm and their links to various youth cultures. Although other subcultures were associated with self harm, such as Punk, the link was strongest with Goths." (source)
When I was younger I hated when articles like this came out --it gave adults more reason to be condescending and to judge on appearances. I dressed in all black and listened to death metal...at one time I even wore a real bejeweled chicken foot necklace (until my mom's Great Dane ate the damn thing)--and I also didn't do drugs and got good grades.
The key line of the article:
"...But since our study found that more reported self-harm before, rather than after, becoming a Goth, this suggests that young people with a tendency to self-harm are attracted to the Goth subculture."
Parents, don't fret over appearances. Outward rebellion is the best kind. Your kid is throwing it right in your face instead of snorting it behind your back... IMO anyway.