Suicide ideation among college students evidencing subclinical depression

J Am Coll Health. 2011;59(7):575-81. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2010.483710.


Identifying elevated suicide ideation in college students is a critical step in preventing suicide attempts and deaths by suicide on college campuses. Although suicide ideation may be most prominent in students with severe depression, this should not suggest that only students with severe depression experience significant risk factors for suicide.

Objective: The purpose of these 3 studies was to explore the relation between suicide ideation and severity of depressive symptoms in college students.

Participants: In each study a sample of college students were recruited for participation.

Methods: Participants completed self-report assessments of depressive symptoms and suicide ideation.

Results: The results of these studies suggest that although the greatest elevation in suicide ideation occurs at the highest depressive symptoms, significant suicide ideation is also experienced by college students with mild and moderate depressive symptoms.

Conclusions: The implications of these findings for the assessment of suicide ideation are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • ROC Curve
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Self Report
  • Self-Assessment
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult