DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2021.1947841; PMCID: PMC8782938
OBJECTIVE: To identify robust and reproducible factors associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) in college students.
METHODS: 356 first-year university students completed a large battery of demographic and clinically-relevant self-report measures during the first semester of college and end-of-year (n = 228). Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R) assessed STBs. A machine learning (ML) pipeline using stacking and nested cross-validation examined correlates of SBQ-R scores.
RESULTS: 9.6% of students were identified at significant STBs risk by the SBQ-R. The ML algorithm explained 28.3% of variance (95%CI: 28-28.5%) in baseline SBQ-R scores, with depression severity, social isolation, meaning and purpose in life, and positive affect among the most important factors. There was a significant reduction in STBs at end-of-year with only 1.8% of students identified at significant risk.
CONCLUSION: Analyses replicated known factors associated with STBs during the first semester of college and identified novel, potentially modifiable factors including positive affect and social connectedness.
Journal of American college health : J of ACH
Kirlic N, Akeman E, DeVille DC, et al. A machine learning analysis of risk and protective factors of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in college students. J Am Coll Health. 2023;71(6):1863-1872. doi:10.1080/07448481.2021.1947841