The worldwide prevalence of suicidal ideation and behavior in youth


Suicidal ideation is a broad time period that encompasses a wide range of ideas and desires regarding each suicide and demise (Harmer et al, 2021). Suicidal ideas and behaviours are one of many strongest danger components for demise by suicide (Franklin et al, 2017), however as Van Meter et al state (2023), the prevalence of those has not gathered a lot consideration. Understanding danger components for suicidal ideas and behaviours might assist to cut back the charges of demise by suicide, permitting for related interventions to be designed and applied. Establishing which teams in society have the best prevalence of suicidal ideas and behaviours might assist us goal these teams with efficient preventive interventions.

The present research aimed to explain the prevalence of suicidal ideas and suicide makes an attempt amongst younger folks (as much as age 21 years), to find out whether or not the neighborhood prevalence of STB (suicidal ideas and behaviours) is altering over time, and to check prevalence charges throughout totally different locations on this planet.

Despite being a main risk factor for suicide, the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours hasn’t garnered as much attention as suicide itself.

Regardless of being a foremost danger issue for suicide, the prevalence of suicidal ideas and behaviours amongst youth hasn’t garnered a lot analysis consideration.


The authors searched two bibliographic databases, reference lists of articles and publicly-available experiences to establish research that explored the prevalence of suicidal ideation or try in people as much as the age of 21. Solely neighborhood samples have been included.

A random results meta-analysis was carried out to find out the pattern of suicidal ideas and behaviours over time and to check charges between areas. Outcomes have been additionally explored by gender, race/ethnicity and age.

Publication bias and influential instances have been checked utilizing funnel plots and an extension of Egger’s take a look at. No high quality evaluation or danger of bias of research was carried out.


The database search retrieved 2,435 papers, with 540 abstracts reviewed. This resulted in 9 impact sizes on the prevalence of passive suicidal ideation, 376 on energetic ideation, 96 on ideation with a plan, 3 on undefined suicidal ideation and 321 on suicide try, all drawn from 369 papers, from 149 nations/territories. The 12 months of information assortment ranged from 1981 to 2021, with ages starting from 6-22.

The desk beneath exhibits the common prevalence for every measure of suicidal ideas and behaviours. The authors discovered that lifetime prevalence was larger for all measures, in comparison with one 12 months prevalence.

Measures Prevalence
Lively suicidal ideation 16.3% (95 % CI 14.9 to 17.8%)
Suicidal ideation with a plan 8.9% (95 % CI 7.5 to 10.5%)
Suicide try 6.2% (95 % CI 5.5 to six.9%)

The authors additionally discovered that:

  • Youthful ages have been related to decrease charges of all measures, though charges of suicidal ideation with a plan weren’t statistically vital
  • Feminine members have been extra more likely to report all measures
  • There have been variations within the prevalence charges of every measure between areas. The best charges of energetic suicidal ideation have been in Japanese European nations (21.6%); suicidal ideation with a plan in South Pacific Islands (23.6%); suicide makes an attempt in South Pacific Islands (16.9%).
The estimated prevalence of active suicidal ideation is 16.3%, and it is 8.9% for suicidal ideation with a plan.

The estimated prevalence of energetic suicidal ideation is 16.3%, and it’s 8.9% for suicidal ideation with a plan.


The evaluation highlights the prevalence of measures of suicidal ideas and behaviours, indicating that round 16.3% of these underneath 21 expertise energetic suicidal ideation. The evaluation means that females, these 14 and older, youth of color and people from the South Pacific have larger prevalence charges of suicidal ideas and behaviours, however in some subgroups of populations, there may be at present little proof. The authors concluded that “additional work is clearly mandatory to raised perceive the proximal components that contribute to youth suicide danger”.

Further work is necessary to understand risk factors for youth suicide risk.

Extra analysis is urgently wanted to perceive the chance components for youth suicide danger.

Strengths and limitations

This evaluation efficiently captured papers from all world areas, permitting for a complete, world, evaluation of suicidal ideation and behaviours. The authors didn’t solely seek for peer-reviewed literature but in addition explored gray literature and assessed publication bias. Nevertheless, solely two databases have been searched which can imply some related papers have been missed, significantly these from non-Western nations.

A power of the paper is the depth of the evaluation carried out, with outcomes for a number of totally different danger components, and stratified by areas. The research adopted PRISMA pointers however didn’t pre-register their protocol.

A significant limitation of this evaluation is that the authors didn’t assess the standard of the research included of their evaluation. Because of this the findings could also be primarily based on very low high quality proof, which might make these outcomes unattainable to interpret.

One other limitation of the paper, acknowledged by the authors, is that they have been unable to totally seize the tendencies in every area as a consequence of gaps within the accessible literature. Though the authors discovered that there have been no will increase in suicidal ideas and behaviours, this can be as a result of lack of proof accessible. Offering a worldwide prevalence price is of little relevance to particular areas when the charges differ between them. Likewise, there may be possible heterogeneity inside areas, and subsequently, it may very well be argued that country-specific estimates would have supplied a greater image of the scenario. When small numbers of impact sizes can be found from every area e.g., South Pacific, outcomes must be interpreted cautiously.

Equally, the dearth of proof accessible for the racial/ethnic grouping outdoors of the US prevents this from being explored as a worldwide danger issue and outcomes, as acknowledged, ought to solely actually be interpreted in relation to the US.

The study stratified their results for several different risk factors, regions and sociodemographic groups.

The research stratified their outcomes for a number of totally different danger components, areas and sociodemographic teams. Nevertheless, an absence of high quality evaluation implies that these findings must be interpreted with warning.

Implications for follow

This evaluation principally has implications for researchers and policymakers. For researchers, it highlights areas and areas the place proof on suicidal ideas and behaviours is significantly under-researched, subsequently for researchers engaged on this subject, this must be a precedence for additional analysis, together with new research. The research highlights a want for extra research on variations inside racial/ethnic teams and different marginalised teams in society (e.g. folks from the LGBTQ+ neighborhood). With out adequate proof, these teams might have constantly excessive charges of suicidal ideas and behaviours, however received’t be targets for interventions.

For policymakers and funders, though the proof means that charges of suicidal ideas and behaviours aren’t rising, in addition they aren’t bettering and extra must be carried out to cut back this, significantly by interventions and funding of extra analysis in particular teams inside society and in additional granular element, versus countrywide tendencies.

Up-to-date data and studies are required to assess the trends in and risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviours in youth.

Up-to-date information and research are required to evaluate the tendencies in and danger components for suicidal ideas and behaviours in youth.

Assertion of pursuits

Lucy is a PhD scholar specializing in world psychological well being. She has no conflicts.


Major paper

Van Meter AR, Knowles EA, Mintz EH. (2023) Systematic Evaluation and Meta-Evaluation: Worldwide Prevalence of Suicidal Ideation and Try in YouthJournal of the American Academy of Youngster & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Different references

Franklin, J. C., Ribeiro, J. D., Fox, Ok. R., Bentley, Ok. H., Kleiman, E. M., Huang, X, & Nock, M. Ok. (2017). Danger components for suicidal ideas and behaviors: A meta-analysis of fifty years of analysis. Psychological bulletin, 143(2), 187.

Harmer, B., Lee, S., vi Duong, T., & Saadabadi, A. (2021). Suicidal Ideation. StatPearls.

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