Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 914–928 | Cite as

The Association Between Depression, Suicidal Ideation and Psychological Strains in College Students: A Cross-National Study

  • Sibo Zhao
  • Jie Zhang
Original Paper



This study examined the differences of psychological strains between Chinese and American college students and discussed how strains may influence individuals’ suicidal ideation and depression.


A total of 539 college students (298 from China and 241 from the U.S.) were recruited in March 2016 to complete the survey study. Multiple linear regressions were used in data analysis.


Students in America had higher scores on depression and stress than students in China, while students in China rated higher on suicidal ideation than students in America. In contrast of students in America facing more coping strains, students in China were confronting more value strains in their life.


The cross-cultural variations in the effect of psychological strains have been substantiated in current study, indicating that understanding the psychological strains in different cultural contexts is necessary for the early intervention and prevention in college aged populations.


Psychological strain College students Depression Suicidal ideation Cross-national study 



This research was supported by a grant of Beijing National Science Foundation (9174046), for which the first author is PI.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology and PsychologyCentral University of Finance and EconomicsBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, Buffalo State CollegeState University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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