Assignment 3: Factors That Contribute to Suicide Among Students Afiqah Zainal Abidin B1100446 Department of Psychology PSY 113 Mr. Kenneth Phun Suicide is an act or gesture of self-infliction with the intention to take one’s own life (Mazza, 2006). Mazza (2006) suicidal behavior theory includes three stages. The first is suicidal ideation, which it is the thoughts of suicides by the individual to a more critical condition of suicide behavior (Mazza, 2006). The second is suicidal intent, it is the intention of the individual at the time of suicide attempt to the yearning of death (Mazza, 2006).
Thirdly is suicide attempts, this is when the individual does self-inflicting injuries behavior for the intention of causing death (Mazza, 2006). Krug, Mercy, Dahlberg, Zwi and Lancet (2002), estimated 1. 6 million death in 2000 and half of it were caused by suicide. Adolescents is the age group that is most common with suicide attempt (Evans, Hawton, Rodham and Deeks, 2005) and in 2002, World Health Organization (WHO) projected that it is the age group with the highest risk of suicide in both developed and rising countries .
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According to Lin (2008), as cited by Gau et al (2008), in the western countries, the adolescent group’s suicide rate had an acute increase after the year 1950s, in contrary of Asian countries which only have a gradual increase. By the year 2004, suicide death has moved drastically to the second leading cause of death among the 15-24 age group (WHO, 2002). Majority of the individuals within the said age group are students ranging from high school to college.
Gau et al (2008) discovered an important correlation between psychological, behavioural, and familial patterns with suicidal risks among college students in Taiwan with different levels of suicidal risks. In this research, Gau et al (2008) gave 2919 participants a questionnaire and they were asked to scale the questions based on their current and past suicidal behaviours. The result for the inventory shows that personality problems, psychopathology and inappropriate parenting style had a consistent gradient effect on the intensity of suicidal risks among participants (Gau et al, 008). The researchers hypothesized that college students at different levels of risk would demonstrate differential psychological, behavioral, and familial patterns (Gau et al, 2008). A different researcher, Hidaka et al (2008), indentified significant co-factors of attempted suicide. In this research, Hidaka et el (2008) had done a survey on 2,095 participants with questions relate to suicidal intentions or anything that leads to suicide relations.
The findings of this research found that the co-factors for male participants included sexual orientation, being bullied at school, history of drug abuse, experiencing unwanted sex and low self-esteem while for female participants, the co-factors included being ages 15–19 years, being bullied at school, history of drug abuse and smoking habits (Hidaka et al, 2008). The study was done to assess prevalence of attempted suicide in a community sample of urban Japanese youth and explore risk factors related to attempted suicide (Hidaka et al, 2008).
In another research, among 9570 participants aged from 9 to 13 years old that was surveyed in 114 different schools, 739 participants reported having made suicide attempts within the last 12 months ( Fleming et al, 2007). Fleming et al (2007) conducted a survey to investigate the relations between individual, family, school and community characteristics and rates of suicide attempts of secondary school students in New Zealand. The results shows that female participants have higher rates of suicide attempts than males (Fleming et al, 2007).
The study by Fleming et al (2007), also found that besides substance use, problem behavior, family violence and same gender attractions, exposure to suicide behaviours by others and experiencing negative life events are associated with increased rates of suicide risks. The study also found that participants who attend school are healthier than those who didn’t which also applies to the research that was done by Gau (2008) and Hidaka (2008).
From the past research given, it is concluded that the contributing factors of suicide risks plays a big influence on students who are within the age group that are vulnerable and are going through identity adjustment phase. Among the co-factors are problem behavior, family violence, substance abuse, identity disorder and oppression in school are among the contributing factors of suicide among students. The exposure of negative events creates negative stress which leads to depression and might lead to suicide if not attended immediately. Reference Evans, E. Hawton, K. , Rodham, K. , ; Deeks, J. (2005). The prevalence of suicidal phenomenon adolescents: a systematic review of population-based studies. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 35, 239-250. Fleming, T. M. , Merry, S. N. , Robison, E. M. , Denny, S. J. , ; Watson, P. D. (2007). Self- reported suicide attempts and associated risk and protective factors among secondary school students in New Zealand. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrist. Gau, S. S, Chen, Y. , Tsai, F. , Lee, M. , Chiu, Y. , Soong, W. , ; Hwu, H. 2008). Risk factors for suicide in Taiwanese college students. Journal of American College Health, 57(2). Hidaka, Y. , Operario, D. , Takenaka, M. , Omori, S. , ; Shirasaka, T. (2008). Attempted Suicide and associated risk factors among youth in urban Japan. SOC Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 43, 752-757. Krug, E. G. , Dahlberg, L. L. , Mercy, J. A. , Zwi, A. B. , ; Lancet. (2006). World report on violence and health. World Health Organization. Mazza, J. J. (2006). Youth suicidal behavior: A crisis in need of attention. Adolescent Mental Health.