Risk factors of suicide among Chinese college students: a literature review

Tong Huang, Eisuke Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Suicide is a serious public health issue worldwide. In China, suicide is the fifth leading cause of death and the second leading cause of death among 15- to 34-year-olds. Research has shown that the suicide rate among college students is higher than their non-college peers. This study aims to review the literature on the risk factors of Chinese college students’ suicide and suicidal behaviours (i.e. suicidal ideation, attempt and plan). Existing literature identifies four kinds of factors that are related to suicide among Chinese college students, namely, psychological factors (e.g. hopelessness and depression), family factors (e.g. low-income family environment and unsuccessful family education), negative life events (e.g. frustrated interpersonal communication, and pressure from academics and employment) and social factors (e.g. neglect of the psychological curriculum and status of psychological counselling in China). Moreover, there are complicated relationships among these factors. Finally, the implications for future studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • China
  • college students
  • suicidal attempt
  • suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • suicide plan
  • youth suicide

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