Suicidal ideation among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic: Identifying at-risk subgroups

Psychiatry Res. 2021 Aug;302:114034. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114034. Epub 2021 May 27.

Abstract

Given concerns of increased suicide risk among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study examined rates of lifetime and past-year suicidal ideation (SI) among university students in Fall 2020 (vs. two earlier semesters), overall and across gender, racial/ethnic background, and sexual identity. Participants included 1700 university students enrolled in a general education psychology course in Fall 2020, Fall 2014, or Fall 2013. Rates of SI were not significantly higher in Fall 2020 versus the earlier semesters and did not differ across racial/ethnic background. However, rates of SI in Fall 2020 were significantly higher among sexual minority than heterosexual students.

Keywords: COVID-19; Sexual identity; Suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Midwestern United States / epidemiology
  • Pandemics*
  • Racial Groups / psychology
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / psychology
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / statistics & numerical data
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult