Depression and suicidal ideation in college students

Amy Farabaugh, Stella Bitran, Maren Nyer, Daphne J Holt, Paola Pedrelli, Irene Shyu, Steven D Hollon, Sidney Zisook, Lee Baer, Wilma Busse, Timothy J Petersen, Maribeth Pender, Dorothy D Tucker, Maurizio Fava
Psychopathology 2012, 45 (4): 228-34

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in college students and is often associated with depression. The aim of this study was to assess the rates of suicidal ideation (SI) on college campuses and to identify its correlates.

METHODS: On-campus depression screening sessions were conducted at 3 universities (n = 898; 55% female; mean age 20.07 ± 1.85 years). Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI; mean ± SD of total score = 6.27 ± 6.31) and other measures. Eighty-four students endorsed a '1' on the BDI suicidality item, suggesting thoughts of suicide.

RESULTS: Results showed that students with greater depression severity, higher levels of hopelessness, and poorer quality of life were more likely to endorse SI.

CONCLUSION: Factors associated with SI highlighted in this study may aid in the identification of college students at risk for suicide.

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