Is there a way to predict suicide risk in students? Researchers from Montreal and France note that self-esteem represents a very important predictive maker of potential suicidal risk. The team coming from McGill University, University of Montreal, Inserm, as well as the Université de Bordeaux tried using artificial intelligence in order to identify certain factors that could accurately predict potential suicidal behavior in students.
Early Suicidal Behaviors
According to MedicalExpress, A Ph.D. Candidate at University of Bordeaux, lead author Mélissa Macalli noted that suicide is actually the second leading cause of death between the ages of 15 and 24. Early detection of certain suicidal behaviors and thoughts is notably a key to providing the appropriate treatment.
McGill also reported it was published in Scientific Reports, their analysis is reportedly based on data that was collected from over 5,000 university students in France who were reportedly followed for at least a year between 2013 and 2019. The study reportedly showed that out of the 70 potential predictors, four detect around 80% of their suicidal behaviors at follow-up.
Four Predictors of Suicidal Behavior
The four predictors were reportedly anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem. AI reportedly identifies the main predictors of suicidal behaviors. Through the use of machine learning, the researchers were able to simultaneously analyze the many factors that were associated with suicida risk and even ranked them according to their own importance in predicting potential suicidal behaviors.
The factors reportedly include sociodemographic data, substance use, lifestyle, childhood trauma, and even personal and family history of suicidal behaviors. A Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University with the reported McGill Group for Suicide Studies and at University of Bordeaux, co-author Massimiliano Orri gave a statement regarding the matter.
Increased Risk in University Students
It was noted that there are many known factors that can potentially contribute to the increased risk when it comes to university students. These include transitioning from high school to college, academic pressures, psychosocial stress, and even adapting to a brand new environment.
Orri noted that these are actual risks that have only been exacerbated by the health crisis which was triggered by the current COVID-19 pandemic. It was also noted that there is still no clear evidence, however, of an increase in suicide rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was found, however, that suicide rates in Japan decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The students reportedly completed two surveys. The initial one was completed at the time of enrollment in the study and the other one was completed a year later. This would provide researchers with critical information regarding their health, drug, and even alcohol use, medical and psychiatric history, and ultimately their psychological state.
This particular follow-up survey had reportedly revealed that an approximately 17% of the participating students, both women at 17.4% and men at 16.8%, had reportedly exhibited suicidal behaviors in the year that elapsed between the two questionnaires. In other news, a father blamed the lockdown for the suicide of his 12-year-old son.
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Written by Urian B.