Suicidal Plans and Attempts Among Adolescents in Mongolia: Urban Versus Rural Differences

Davaasambuu, Sarantsetseg; Batbaatar, Suvd; Witte, Susan S.; Hamid, Phillip; Oquendo, Maria A.; Kleinman, Marjorie; Olivares, Michael; Gould, Madelyn S.

Background: Although 75% of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries, few studies have examined suicidal behaviors among young people in these countries. Aims: This study aimed to examine what individual characteristics were associated with suicidal plans and attempts among Mongolian youth and whether suicidal risks and behaviors varied by urban and rural locations. Method: Logistic regression analyses were utilized to investigate suicidal plans and attempts among 5,393 adolescents using the Global Student Health Survey – 2013. Results: Adolescents who lived in urban areas were at higher risk for suicidal plans and behaviors than those who lived in rural areas; however, the patterns of suicidal risks were similar. Specifically, individual characteristics, such as being female, feeling lonely and worried, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and having fights at school, were associated with suicidal plans and behaviors regardless of the residential places. Limitations: A number of important variables have not been included in the questionnaire such as depression, family and parental support, household income, family constructs etc. Conclusion: Given the comparable patterns of risk between urban and rural adolescents and the relatively high rates of suicidal plans and attempts, similar mental health services and interventions are necessitated for both urban and rural areas.

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April 19, 2018