Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp 534–540 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Suicide Ideation, Behavioral Health, and College Academic Performance

  • Susan M. De Luca
  • Cynthia Franklin
  • Yan Yueqi
  • Shannon Johnson
  • Chris Brownson
Brief Report


The impact of suicidal ideation on college students’ academic performance has yet to be examined, yet mental health is often linked with academic performance. Underclassmen and upperclassmen were compared on behavioral health outcomes related to academic success (N = 26,457). Ideation (b = −0.05, p < .05), increased mental health (b = −0.03, p < .01) or substance use severity (b = −0.02, p < .01) was associated with lower GPAs. Underclassmen’s behavioral health severity was related to lower GPA. Students reported higher GPAs when participating in extracurricular activities during the past year. Ideation, beyond mental health, is an important when assessing academic performance. Increasing students’ connections benefits students experiencing behavioral concerns but also aids in suicide prevention initiatives and improves academic outcomes. Creating integrated health care systems on campus where physical, mental health and academic support services is crucial to offer solutions for students with severe or co-morbid mental health histories.


Mental health College students Academic outcomes Substance use 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan M. De Luca
    • 1
  • Cynthia Franklin
    • 1
  • Yan Yueqi
    • 2
  • Shannon Johnson
    • 1
  • Chris Brownson
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Social Work and The Center for Women’s and Gender StudiesThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WelfareThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.Counseling and Mental Health CenterThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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