Prevalence and risk factors associated with suicidal ideation among adolescents in Malaysia.

International journal of adolescent medicine and health

PubMedID: 27508957

Chan YY, Lim KH, Teh CH, Kee CC, Ghazali SM, Lim KK, Khoo YY, Tee EO, Ahmad NA, Ibrahim N. Prevalence and risk factors associated with suicidal ideation among adolescents in Malaysia. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2016;.
BACKGROUND
Suicidal ideation, defined as thoughts, ideas and the desire to commit suicide, is becoming a major public health problem among adolescents. Indeed, suicidal ideation is known as a key predictor of future suicide risk.

OBJECTIVE
This study aims to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with suicidal ideation among adolescents in Malaysia.

METHODS
This study used data from the 2013 Malaysian adolescent health risk behavior (MyAHRB) study, a cross-sectional school survey conducted in Peninsular Malaysia among school-going adolescents aged 16-17 years (n=2789). Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the risk factors associated with suicidal ideation among Malaysian adolescents.

RESULTS
The overall prevalence of suicidal ideation among the adolescents was 6.2%. The prevalence was significantly higher among females than males (7.6% vs. 4.7%; p=0.002). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that adolescents who were females [odds ratio (OR)=2.02; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.40-2.92] or of Indian ethnicity (OR=2.32; 95% CI: 1.35-3.98) were more likely to report suicidal ideation. Loneliness (OR=2.54; 95% CI: 1.57-4.11), anxiety or worry (OR=2.70; 95% CI: 1.70-4.31), no close friends (OR=2.71; 95% CI: 1.43-5.14), and lack of supportive peers (OR=1.69; 95% CI: 1.15-2.47) were identified as risk factors for adolescents' suicidal ideation. Adolescents who ever had sexual intercourse (OR=2.70; 95% CI: 1.48-4.92) and had been in a physical fight (OR=2.45; 95% CI: 1.62-3.70) were also reported to have higher risks of suicidal ideation.

CONCLUSION
This study provides evidence on risk factors associated with suicidal ideation among Malaysian adolescents. Targeted mental health and health risk behavioral interventions for high-risk adolescents are recommended.