Suicide amongst Cambridge University Students 1970–1996

  • I. P. Collins
  • E. S. Paykel
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Background: Anecdote, media coverage and earlier research suggest that the rate of suicide amongst students at Cambridge and Oxford Universities is unduly high. There is also a popular belief that student suicide is common at examination times. Method: Student deaths at the University of Cambridge were identified using the University database. The cause of death was determined by reference to death certificates and coroners' inquest records. Results: We identified 157 student deaths during academic years 1970–1996, of which 36 appeared to be suicides. The overall suicide rate was 11.3/100,000 person years at risk. Suicide rates were similar to those seen amongst 15- to 24-year-olds in the general population. There were non-significant trends for male postgraduates to be over-represented and first-year undergraduates under-represented. Examination times were not associated with excess suicide. Conclusions: Suicide rates in University of Cambridge students do not appear to be unduly high.

Keywords

General Population Early Research Suicide Rate Death Certificate Media Coverage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. P. Collins
    • 1
  • E. S. Paykel
    • 2
  1. 1.St Lawrences Hospital, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 2QT, UKGB
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Addenbrookes' Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UKGB

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