Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Suicidology. (2022). 17(4), 352-360. DOI:10.30126/JoS.202212_17(4).0005 SIEC No: 20230623
Purpose: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents in many countries including Taiwan. Youth mental health issue including suicide and homicide has become a focus of attention worldwide. The present  study investigated the prevalence of suicidal ideation (SI) and thoughts of hurting others (THO) and their associations with the psychopathology among University students. Method: The cross-sectional survey was conducted on  the first-year students of a National university in northern Taiwan. The questionnaire comprised basic information on gender, the 5-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-5), and questions about the personal experience of SI  and THO over the previous week. All 4066 students (female : male = 2314:1752) finishing the registration for administration were invited to participate in the survey. In total, 3961 students (56.5% males) completed the  questionnaire. The ROC curve analysis was used to determine the validity of the BSRS-5 to identify the recent one-week SI and THO. Moreover, regression analysis was performed to examine the associations between BSRS-5  subscales and one-week SI and THO, respectively. Moreover, the path analysis with the structural equation model was conducted to examine the associations of the psychological distress and with one-week SI and THO. Results:  The results indicated that SI and THO were significantly inter-correlated (r=0.574) and the prevalence of SI, THO and psychiatric morbidity was 5.9%, 5.8% and 19.8%, respectively. and Logistic regression revealed the significant predictors for SI and THO included psychiatric morbidity (OR=22.7, 11.8), hostility (OR=21.2, 14.5), inferiority (OR=15.0, 8.3), depression (OR=27.8, 11.5), anxiety (OR=23.9, 7.4), and insomnia  (OR=11.3, 7.1). The  stepwise multiple regression demonstrated 4 items (except for insomnia) of BSRS-5 explained 22.2% and 14.5% of the variances of SI and THO, respectively. Using 4/5 of the BSRS-5 score as a cut-off to predict SI and THO, the  rate of accurate classification was 84% and 83%, respectively. Conclusion: SI and THO were prevalent among the university's incoming students. The BSRS-5 scale is an efficient way to identify SI, THO, and psychological distress and provides timely investigation for the targeted population at risk.