The Prevalence of Suicidal Ideation among College Students


ABSTRACT: A total of 737 university students were surveyed using a psychometrically sound self‐report measure of suicidal ideation. Over 43% of those participating were found to have experienced some level of suicidal ideation during the previous year. Of those found to have had suicidal thoughts, 14.9% in some way acted on those thoughts without actually making suicide attempts. An additional 5.5% were found to have made attempts on their lives. Serious suicidal ideation and actual attempts were related to several demographic traits, and implications of the results are discussed. In general, findings indicate that the problem of youth suicide may involve a greater percentage of young people than previously thought. Moreover, findings provide indirect support for the hypothesis that the difference in male‐female completed suicide rates is primarily a function of the lethality of the attempts. 1989 The American Association for Suicidology

Publication Title

Suicide and Life‐Threatening Behavior