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Journal Articles Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology Year : 2018

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

Philippe Mortier
  • Function : Author
Randy Auerbach
  • Function : Author
William Axinn
  • Function : Author
Pim Cuijpers
David S. Ebert
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 950576
Jennifer Green
  • Function : Author
Irving Hwang
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 908895
Ronald Kessler
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 908913
Howard Liu
  • Function : Author
Matthew Nock
  • Function : Author
Stephanie Pinder-Amaker
  • Function : Author
Nancy Sampson
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 908896
Alan Zaslavsky
  • Function : Author
Jibril Abdulmalik
  • Function : Author
Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola
  • Function : Author
Ali Al-Hamzawi
  • Function : Author
Corina Benjet
  • Function : Author
Silvia Florescu
  • Function : Author
Giovanni de Girolamo
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 908897
Oye Gureje
Chiyi Hu
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 908900
Yueqin Huang
Peter de Jonge
  • Function : Author
Andrzej Kiejna
  • Function : Author
Sing Lee
  • Function : Author
John Mcgrath
Siobhan O’neill
  • Function : Author
Vladimir Nakov
  • Function : Author
Beth-Ellen Pennell
  • Function : Author
Marina Piazza
  • Function : Author
Jose Posada-Villa
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 908910
Charlene Rapsey
  • Function : Author
Maria Carmen Viana
  • Function : Author
Miguel Xavier
  • Function : Author
Ronny Bruffaerts
  • Function : Author

Abstract

PURPOSE: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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). CONCLUSION: 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.

Dates and versions

hal-02465949 , version 1 (04-02-2020)

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Philippe Mortier, Randy Auerbach, Jordi Alonso, William Axinn, Pim Cuijpers, et al.. 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, 2018, 53 (3), pp.279-288. ⟨10.1007/s00127-018-1481-6⟩. ⟨hal-02465949⟩
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