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Sex and Racial/Ethnic Differences in Suicidal Consideration and Suicide Attempts among US College Students, 2011-2015

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Objectives: In this study, we examined sex and racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence and predictors of suicide consideration and attempts among US college students. Methods: We used multivariable logistic regression to investigate suicide consideration and attempts by sex and race/ethnicity among students (N = 319,342) who completed the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment from fall 2011 to spring 2015. Results: Overall, the prevalence of suicide consideration and attempts was higher in spring 2015 than fall 2011 (p < .05). Men had higher odds of suicide consideration and attempts than women (p < .001). Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians had higher odds of suicide consideration and attempts compared with Whites (p < .001). Weight-related problems (unhealthy weight, body weight overestimation, and lack of physical activity), sleep problems (insufficient sleep and sleep difficulties), and lower levels of academic performance were associated with both suicide consideration and attempts (p < .05). Conclusions: Our findings indicate a need for sex- and race/ethnicity-specific suicide prevention strategies for college students, specifically men and racial/ethnic minority groups. Furthermore, appropriate weight and sleep management could be considered to help prevent suicide among US college students.
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Keywords: COLLEGE STUDENTS; RACIAL/ETHNIC DIFFERENCES; SEX; SUICIDE ATTEMPTS; SUICIDE CONSIDERATION

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, College of Education and Health Sciences, Touro University, Vallejo, CA 2: Visiting Faculty, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, OH 3: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Epidemiology, University of Michi-gan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 4: Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON (Canada) 5: Assistant Professor, Department of Food and Nutrition, Kunsan National University, Gunsan, South Korea., Email: [email protected] 6: Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD

Publication date: March 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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