European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 1361–1372 | Cite as

The impact of psychological problems and adverse life events on suicidal ideation among adolescents using nationwide data of a school-based mental health screening test in Korea

  • Dayoung Lee
  • Song Jung
  • Seongjun Park
  • Hyun Ju HongEmail author
Original Contribution


The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for suicidal ideation in adolescents by gender and age. This study used 2013 nationwide school-based mental health screening test data from 591,303 seventh grade students and 618,271 tenth grade students in Korea. Suicidal ideation, four psychological problems, and three adverse life events were evaluated using the Adolescents Mental Health and Problem Behavior Screening Questionnaire-II. Of all students, 12.9–14.7% of the boys and 17.1–23.2% of the girls had suicidal ideation. Mood had the greatest impact on the risk for suicidal ideation and other factors also significantly increased the risk of suicidal ideation. Distractibility was positively related to suicidal ideation only in seventh grade students and behavioral problems increased suicidal ideation more in girls than in boys. Violence constituted the most powerful factor for suicidal ideation among the events; however, bullying constituted the most important event that increased suicidal ideation in seventh grade girls. All factors except ‘Distractibility’ increased the risk of severe suicidal ideation. The risk factors for suicidal ideation in adolescents differed by gender and age. Interventions should be made according to these characteristics to reduce suicidal ideation in adolescents.


Adolescent Suicidal ideation Risk factors Gender Age 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015S1A5B8A02061201).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryHallym University Sacred Heart HospitalAnyangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Hallym University Suicide and School Mental Health InstituteHallym University Sacred Heart HospitalAnyangSouth Korea

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