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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 1, pp e100–e105 | Cite as

Suicidal ideation in a community-based sample of elementary school children: A multilevel and spatial analysis

  • Cindy Xin Feng
  • Cheryl Waldner
  • Jennifer Cushon
  • Kimberly Davy
  • Cory Neudorf
Quantitative Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether bullying victimization, psychological status, parental and peer relationships and other risk factors are associated with suicidal ideation and to identify high-risk neighbourhoods for suicidal ideation among the elementary school children in Saskatoon Health Region.

METHODS: A sample of school students (n = 5340, grades 5–8; ages 9–14 years) from 109 elementary schools in Saskatoon Health Region, Saskatchewan completed the Student Health Survey in 2010–2011. A multilevel logistic regression model was used to investigate the hierarchical data structure at student, grade and school levels. Bayesian spatial analysis was conducted to examine the spatial disparity in the risk of suicidal ideation among residential neighbourhoods.

RESULTS: Of 5,340 children, 340 (6.4%) indicated they had considered suicide at least once in the previous 12 months. Our findings indicated that school children who were frequently verbally or electronically bullied were more likely to report suicidal thoughts than those who were not bullied. Students who were more depressed or anxious, and those with lower self-esteem and poorer relationships with their parents were also more likely to report suicidal ideation. The Aboriginal elementary school students and those from the west side of the city were at a higher risk of having suicidal ideation.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest the need for targeted intervention strategies on suicidal ideation among the elementary school children in Saskatoon Health Region, before they reach high school.

Key Words

Suicidal ideation bullying psychological factors Aboriginals multilevel analysis Bayesian spatial models 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Examiner si le fait d’être victime d’intimidation, l’état psychologique, les relations avec les parents et les pairs et d’autres facteurs de risque sont associés à l’idéation suicidaire et repérer les quartiers à haut risque d’idéation suicidaire chez les élèves des écoles élémentaires de Saskatoon.

MÉTHODE: Un échantillon d’écoliers (n = 5 340, 5e à 8e année; 9 à 14 ans) de 109 écoles élémentaires de Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) a répondu à un questionnaire sur la santé en 2010–2011. Nous avons utilisé un modèle de régression logistique multiniveaux pour étudier la structure hiérarchique des données au niveau des élèves, de l’année d’étude et des écoles. Nous avons mené une analyse bayésienne spatiale pour examiner la disparité spatiale du risque d’idéation suicidaire entre les quartiers résidentiels.

RÉSULTATS: Sur 5 340 enfants, 340 (6,4 %) ont dit avoir songé au suicide au moins une fois au cours des 12 mois antérieurs. Nos constatations montrent que les enfants d’âge scolaire fréquemment intimidés verbalement ou par voie électronique étaient plus susceptibles de faire état d’idées suicidaires que ceux qui ne subissaient pas d’intimidation. Les élèves déprimés ou anxieux, et ceux dont l’estime de soi et les relations avec leurs parents étaient moins bonnes, étaient également plus susceptibles de faire état d’idées suicidaires. Les écoliers autochtones et ceux de l’ouest de la ville présentaient le plus grand risque d’idéation suicidaire.

CONCLUSION: Nos constatations indiquent qu’il faut des stratégies d’intervention qui ciblent l’idéation suicidaire chez les enfants fréquentant l’école élémentaire à Saskatoon, avant leur entrée à l’école secondaire.

Mots Clés

idéation suicidaire intimidation facteurs psychologiques autochtones analyse multiniveaux modèles bayésiens spatiaux 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy Xin Feng
    • 1
  • Cheryl Waldner
    • 2
  • Jennifer Cushon
    • 3
  • Kimberly Davy
    • 4
  • Cory Neudorf
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Large Animal Clinical Sciences and School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Saskatoon Health RegionSaskatoonCanada
  4. 4.School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  5. 5.Saskatoon Health Region, Community Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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