Comparing the risk of suicide of college students with nonstudents.
Suicide rates for college students were compared with rates for nonstudents using two definitions of students: full-time enrollment at 4-year institutions, and all-inclusive postsecondary enrollment. For traditionally aged females, comparing the suicide rate of students (3.0 per 100,000) to the ratejbr same-age nonstudents rather than the same-age general population did not meaningfully affect the relative risk for suicide. For traditionally aged male students (overall suicide rate 10.25 per 100,000), changing the comparison group to same-age nonstudents rather than the same-age general population did meaningfully enhance the favorable relative risk for students aged 18-24 in the smaller student cohort, and for those 18-29 in the more inclusive student cohort. These findings are interpreted as reinforcing the importance of environmental factors in affecting suicide rates, specifically the importance of restricting access to firearms in reducing rates.