According to a survey conducted by the Associated Press and mtvU, young people are experiencing stress at a high rate, and females more than males.
The AP-MTV poll was conducted by Knowledge Networks Inc. from April 16 to 23, and involved online interviews with 1,280 people aged 13 to 24. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Here is the report summary (pdf).
The leading stressors? Students reported academic pressure to do well in school, over scheduling of activities, bullying and the Iraq War among the leading causes of stress in their lives. This research comes on the heels of other research which found that nearly 50% of college age students suffer from some form of mental illness.
A 2006 mental health survey conducted by MTV found that nearly half of all college students reported feeling so depressed that they couldn’t function during the last school year. The study (pdf) also found that:
"Sometimes these challenges can make it difficult for students to keep up with the demands of college life, and sometimes the impact is even more devastating. In fact, suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students."
Given these statistics, it boggles the mind that Pepsi would launch a national ad campaign using suicide as a youth marketing ploy.