Journal List > J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs > v.20(3) > 1057910

Seo and Lee: Psychosocial Factors Influencing Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents



The purpose of this study was to explore suicidal ideation among adolescents and to identify the factors that may increase the likelihood of suicidal ideation among adolescents. The factors included depression, individuality, relatedness, cognitive deconstruction, social desirability, and alexithymia.


The data were collected from March 4 to May 29, 2009 from 1,519 adolescents who were conveniently selected from five different middle and high schools in Seoul. The data were analyzed and interpreted using descriptive statistics, correlation, and stepwise multiple linear regression with the SPSS/WIN program.


The major findings of this study were: 1) More than 30% of the participants had a history of having suicidal ideation while 6.3% had attempted suicide. 2) Suicidal ideation was positively related to depression, alexithymia, and cognitive deconstruction and negatively related to relatedness and social desirability. 3) Regression analysis showed 29% of variance in suicidal ideation can be explained by depression, individuality, cognitive deconstruction, living with father, living alone, and living with relatives.


Adolescents with depression, higher individuality, cognitive deconstruction, and not living with their parents require more attention to prevent suicide. It is necessary to develop programs to prevent adolescents' suicide.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Descriptive Statistics of Suicidal Ideation (N=1,519)


M±SD of total score: 1.2±1.88.

Table 2

Differences in Suicidal Ideation by General Characteristics (N=1,519)

Table 3

Mean and Standard Deviation of Psychosocial Variables (N=1,519)

Table 4

Correlation among Study Variables (N=1,519)

Table 5

Factors Influencing Suicidal Ideation (N=1,519)


Reference group: Living situation-with parent.


1. Bagby RM, Parker JD, Taylor GJ. The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale I: Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure. J Psychosom Res. 1994; 38(1):23–32.
2. Baumeister RF. Escaping the self: Alcoholism, spirituality, masochism, and other fights from the burden of selfhood. New York: Basic Books;1991.
3. Beck A, Kovacs M, Weissman A. Assessment of suicidal intention: The scale for suicidal ideation. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1979; 47:343–352.
4. Cho MJ, Kim KH. Diagnostic validity of the CES-D (Korean version) in the assessment of DSM-III-R major depression. J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc. 1993; 32:381–399.
5. Cho SJ, Jeon HJ, Kim JK, Suh T, Kim SU, Hahm BJ, et al. Prevalence of suicide behaviors and risk factors of suicide attempts in Junior and high school adolescents. J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc. 2002; 41:1142–1155.
6. Cho YJ. Ego-identity, depression, cognitive deconstruction and suicidal ideation in adolescents: The moderating effects of problem-solving and social support. Masan: Kyounhnam University;2008. Unpublished master's thesis.
7. Cho YK. A study on the I-consciousness-we-consciousness-relationship between I-consciousness-we-consciousness and individuality-relatedness, psychosocial maturity, and interpersonal problems. Korean J Couns Psychother. 2003; 15(1):91–109.
8. Chong YJ, Chong YS. Relationships between depression, cognitive doconstruction, perceived support from friends and suicidal ideation in adolescents. Korean J Dev Psychol. 2007; 20(1):67–88.
9. DiFilippo J, Overholser J. Suicidal ideation in adolescent psychiatric inpatients as associated with depression and attachment relationships. J Clin Child Psychol. 2000; 29:155–166.
10. Kim DJ. Relationship between individuality-relatedness and psychological adaptation in cultural context. 1999. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.
11. Kim DJ, Han SY. A study of construction and validation of individuality-relatedness scale. Korean J Soc Pers Psychol. 1998; 12(1):71–93.
12. Kim SW, Stewart R, Kim KM, Shin IS, Yoon JS, Jung SW, et al. Relationship between a history of a suicide attempt and treatment outcomes in patients with depression. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2011; 31:449–456.
13. Lambert A, Man AF. Alexithymia, depression, and self-mutilation in adolescent girls. N Am J Psychol. 2007; 9:555–566.
14. Lee H, Shin H, Lee K. Predictors of suicidal ideation in Juvenile delinquents. Korean J Youth Couns. 2006; 14(1):49–62.
15. Lee JS, Myung SY. A study on adolescents' antidepressive coping behaviors according to their depression level. Korean J Youth Stud. 2008; 15(6):39–63.
16. Lewinsohn P. Depression in adolescents. In : Gotlib IH, Hammen CL, editors. Handbook of depression. New York, NY: Guilford Press;2002. p. 541–553.
17. Lynch TR, Cheavens JS, Morse JQ, Rosenthal MZ. A model predicting suicidal ideation and hopelessness in depressed older adults: The impact of emotion inhibition and affect intensity. Aging Ment Health. 2004; 8:486–497.
18. Miotto P, Preti A. Suicide ideation and social desirability among school-aged young people. J Adolesc. 2008; 31:519–533.
19. Nrugham L, Holen A, Sund AM. Associations between attempted suicide, violent life events, depressive symptoms, and resilence in adolescents and young adults. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2010; 198(2):131–136.
20. Park JK. The construct of the Marlowe Crowne 13 items social desirability scale in Korean adolescence. Korean J Sch Psychol. 2009; 6:429–439.
21. Park KY, Ku BY, Kim WJ, Song JY, Lee JK, Cho EK. A study on the Korean adolescent suicide behavior: A report of adolescent counseling issues. Seoul: Korea Youth Counseling Institute;2005.
22. Radloff LS. The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Appl Psychol Meas. 1977; 1:385–401.
23. Reinherz H, Tanner J, Berger S, Beardslee W, Fitzmaurice G. Adolescent suicidal ideation as predictive of psychology: Suicidal behavior and compromised functionning at age 30. Am J Psychiatry. 2006; 163:1226–1232.
24. Reynolds WM. Development of reliable and valid short forms of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. J Clin Psychol. 1982; 38(1):119–125.
25. Sampson SM, Mrazek DA. Depression in adolescence. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2001; 13:586–590.
26. Shin HK, Won H. A study on the development of the Korean Alexithymia scale. Korean J Clin Psychol. 1997; 16(2):219–231.
27. Shin MS. An empirical study of the mechanism of suicide: Validation of the scale for escape from the self. Seoul: Yonsei University;1992. Unpublished doctoral dissertation.
28. Shon JN. A structural model of impulsive suicidal ideation in adolescents. J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2009; 18:418–430.
29. Sifneos PE. Alexithymia, clinical issues, politics, and crime. Psychother Psychosom. 2000; 69(3):113–116.
30. Statistics Korea Data. The statistics of death in 2009. 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2010. from
Similar articles