Youth at risk: Suicidal thoughts and attempts in Vietnam, China, and Taiwan

Robert Blum, May Sudhinaraset, Mark R. Emerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Purpose: Despite increasing rates of suicide among youth in Asian cultures, there is a lack of suicide data among 1524 year-olds, and little is known about the risk and protective factors for suicidality. This study examines the prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempts among 1524 year-olds and identifies the sociodemographic correlates of suicidality in Hanoi, Shanghai, and Taipei. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 17,016 youth aged 1524 years was conducted in rural and urban areas of Hanoi, Vietnam; Shanghai, China; and Taipei, Taiwan in 2006. Logistic regression was used to analyze correlates of suicidal ideation and attempt across cities. Results: The 12-month prevalence of suicidal ideation and attempt was 8.4% and 2.5% across all three cities, respectively. Suicidal ideation was highest in Taipei (17.0%), Shanghai (8.1%), and lowest in Hanoi (2.3%); similar trends were found for suicidal attempts. Younger age cohorts (1519 year-olds) and females were more likely to report suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts compared with 2024 year-olds and males. In multivariate logistic regression results, across the three cities, female gender, younger age, family structure, parental support, family history of suicide, migration status, and substance use were associated with suicidal ideation. Factors associated with suicidal attempt included female gender, family history of suicide, parental support, and substance use. Discussion: Suicidality is common among Asian youth, with highest levels reported in more industrialized cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S37-S44
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Adolescence
  • China
  • Epidemiology
  • Family
  • Gender
  • Suicide
  • Taiwan
  • Vietnam
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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