Nonsuicidal self-injury, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt among collegiate athletes: Findings from the National College Health Assessment

Kavya Anchuri, Ann Kearns Davoren, Alanna Shanahan, Matthew Torres, Holly C. Wilcox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate whether collegiate athletes and nonathlete college students differ in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and help-seeking behaviors. Participants: 165,210 respondents to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment (NCHA), a survey administered to college students by participating institutions during Fall 2011 to Spring 2015. Methods: Single-level binary logistic regression with equality of coefficients tests and chi-square analyses. Results: The models for NSSI and suicide attempt differed slightly between student-athletes and nonathletes. Most notably, stress is a stronger correlate of NSSI (Z = 3.03, p <.01) for nonathletes while difficulties with social relationships is a stronger correlate of suicide attempt for student-athletes (Z=–3.13, p <.01). Conclusion: Our findings highlight the salience of relationship problems as a correlate with suicide attempts in student-athletes. Difficulty in romantic or other social relationships could be a marker of risk or an identifiable, actionable target for preventing future suicidal behaviors among collegiate athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-823
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume68
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Help-seeking
  • NCHA
  • self-injury
  • student athlete
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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