Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among college students and same-aged peers: results from the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys

Mortier, Philippe, Auerbach, Randy P., Alonso, Jordi, Axinn, William G., Cuijpers, Pim, Ebert, David D., Green, Jennifer G., Hwang, Irving, Kessler, Ronald C., Liu, Howard, Nock, Matthew K., Pinder-Amaker, Stephanie, Sampson, Nancy A., Zaslavsky, Alan M., Abdulmalik, Jibril, Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio, Al-Hamzawi, Ali, Benjet, Corina, Demyttenaere, Koen, Florescu, Silvia, De Girolamo, Giovanni, Gureje, Oye, Haro, Josep Maria, Hu, Chiyi, Huang, Yueqin, De Jonge, Peter, Karam, Elie G., Kiejna, Andrzej, Kovess-Masfety, Viviane, Lee, Sing, Mcgrath, John J., O'neill, Siobhan, Nakov, Vladimir, Pennell, Beth-Ellen, Piazza, Marina, Posada-Villa, José, Rapsey, Charlene, Viana, Maria Carmen, Xavier, Miguel and Bruffaerts, Ronny (2018) Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among college students and same-aged peers: results from the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 53 3: 279-288. doi:10.1007/s00127-018-1481-6

Author Mortier, Philippe
Auerbach, Randy P.
Alonso, Jordi
Axinn, William G.
Cuijpers, Pim
Ebert, David D.
Green, Jennifer G.
Hwang, Irving
Kessler, Ronald C.
Liu, Howard
Nock, Matthew K.
Pinder-Amaker, Stephanie
Sampson, Nancy A.
Zaslavsky, Alan M.
Abdulmalik, Jibril
Aguilar-Gaxiola, Sergio
Al-Hamzawi, Ali
Benjet, Corina
Demyttenaere, Koen
Florescu, Silvia
De Girolamo, Giovanni
Gureje, Oye
Haro, Josep Maria
Hu, Chiyi
Huang, Yueqin
De Jonge, Peter
Karam, Elie G.
Kiejna, Andrzej
Kovess-Masfety, Viviane
Lee, Sing
Mcgrath, John J.
O'neill, Siobhan
Nakov, Vladimir
Pennell, Beth-Ellen
Piazza, Marina
Posada-Villa, José
Rapsey, Charlene
Viana, Maria Carmen
Xavier, Miguel
Bruffaerts, Ronny
Title Suicidal thoughts and behaviors among college students and same-aged peers: results from the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys
Journal name Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1433-9285
Publication date 2018-03-01
Year available 2018
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00127-018-1481-6
Open Access Status PMC
Volume 53
Issue 3
Start page 279
End page 288
Total pages 10
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Subject 2713 Epidemiology
3306 Health (social science)
3207 Social Psychology
2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
Abstract The primary aims are to (1) obtain representative prevalence estimates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STB) among college students worldwide and (2) investigate whether STB is related to matriculation to and attrition from college.

Data from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys were analyzed, which include face-to-face interviews with 5750 young adults aged 18-22 spanning 21 countries (weighted mean response rate = 71.4%). Standardized STB prevalence estimates were calculated for four well-defined groups of same-aged peers: college students, college attriters (i.e., dropouts), secondary school graduates who never entered college, and secondary school non-graduates. Logistic regression assessed the association between STB and college entrance as well as attrition from college.

Twelve-month STB in college students was 1.9%, a rate significantly lower than same-aged peers not in college (3.4%; OR 0.5; p < 0.01). Lifetime prevalence of STB with onset prior to age 18 among college entrants (i.e., college students or attriters) was 7.2%, a rate significantly lower than among non-college attenders (i.e., secondary school graduates or non-graduates; 8.2%; OR 0.7; p = 0.03). Pre-matriculation onset STB (but not post-matriculation onset STB) increased the odds of college attrition (OR 1.7; p < 0.01).

STB with onset prior to age 18 is associated with reduced likelihood of college entrance as well as greater attrition from college. Future prospective research should investigate the causality of these associations and determine whether targeting onset and persistence of childhood-adolescent onset STB leads to improved educational attainment.
Keyword Academic performance
College student
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
Young adult
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID R01 MH070884
FIRCA R03-TW006481
FIS 00/0028
SAF 2000-158-CE
CIBER CB06/02/0046
R03 TW006481-01
T32 MH017119
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Wed, 24 Jan 2018, 12:16:18 EST