Effect of physical health conditions on suicidal ideation in Korean adolescents

우리나라 청소년의 신체적 건강상태가 자살생각에 미치는 영향

  • Kim, Yeji (Department of Health Services Management, Graduate College, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Chang, Hyejung (Department of Management, School of Management, Kyung Hee University)
  • 김예지 (경희대학교 일반대학원 의료경영학과) ;
  • 장혜정 (경희대학교 경영대학 경영학과)
  • Received : 2015.11.02
  • Accepted : 2016.06.21
  • Published : 2016.06.30


Objectives: This study investigated the relationship between adolescents' suicidal ideation and their physical health conditions to contribute to lower suicide rates among adolescents. Methods: Secondary analysis of 2108 high school students of $10^{th}$ grade was conducted using the Korean Child and Youth Panel survey in 2013. The association between suicidal ideation and socio-demographic and health characteristics were analyzed using Chi-square tests and regression models. Results: Adolescents' physical health conditions were significantly related to suicidal ideation. In particular, rhinitis and various symptoms such as feeling feverish, low appetite, feeling of nausea, stomachache while studying, and sleeping problem showed statistically significant relationships with suicidal ideation (P < .05). Furthermore, the higher frequency of diseases and body symptoms increases the rate of suicidal ideation. Considering socio-economic characteristics, family structure was also important. Conclusions: Physical health condition is a major contributor to adolescent's suicidal ideation. results suggest that improving social support system for adolescents' physical health conditions across family and school may be important in suicide prevention efforts.


  1. Ahn, D. H., Jung, S. A., Cho, J. I., Jung, S. N., Jung, Y. K., Kim, K. S., Kim, Y. Y., & Choi, M. J.(2006) Development of screening test and auxiliary textbook for adolescent mental health. Management Center for Health Promotion of Korea Health Promotion Foundation. Retrieved form
  2. Bannink, R., Broeren, S., Jansen, P.M.L., & Raa, H. (2013). Associations between parent-adolescent attachment relationship quality, negative life events and mental health. PLoS ONE, 8(11), 1-7. Retrieved from
  3. Blackman, J. A,. & Conaway, M. R. (2012). Changes over time in reducing developmental and behavioral comorbidities of asthma in children. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 33, 24-31.
  4. Chun, Y. J., & Lee, S. H. (2000). Analysis of variables related to adolescent’s suicidal ideation. Korean Journal of Youth Studies, 7(1), 221-246.
  5. Biddle, V. S., Sekula, L. K., Zoucha, R., & Puskar, K. R. (2010). Identification of suicide risk among rural youth: implications for the use of HEADSS.
  6. Han, S. S., Kang, S. U., Yoo, W. G., & Pi, Y. G. (2009). A Study of the determinants of suicidal ideation among the elderly in korea. Health and Social Welfare Review, 29(1), 192-212.
  7. Kang, E. J. (2005). Factors related to suicide ideation by age group. Health and Welfare forum, The consecutive number of volumes(107), 81-86.
  8. Kim, B. Y., & Lee, C. S. (2009). A meta-analysis of variables related to suicidal ideation in adolescents. J Korean Acad Nurs, 39(5), 651-661.
  9. Kim, H. S., & Heo, P. H. (2011). Exploration of prevention strategies on elderly suicide. Journal of The Korea Contents Association, 11(3), 309-317.
  10. Kim, J. S. (2012). Suicidal ideation and associated factors by sex in adolescents. Journal of Korea Contents Association, 12(12), 261-268.
  11. Kim, J. Y., Kang, W. M., Na, Y. M., & Go, Y. G. (2015). The relationship between positive mental health and physical health in adolescents. The Korean Psychological Association conference library. 408-408.
  12. Ko, J. H., & Yun, K. R. (2007). The relationship between daily life stress and suicidal ideation of adolescents : the role of ego-resiliency as a buffer. Studies on Korean Youth, 18(1), 185-212.
  13. Korea Centers for Disease Control and Preventive. (2015). The 11th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey statistics
  14. Kwon, J. A., Lee, M. J., Yoo, K. B., & Park, E. C. (2013). Does the duration and time of sleep increase the risk of allergic rhinitis? Results of the 6-Year Nationwide Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e72507. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072507
  15. Lavigne, J. V., & Faire-Routman, J. (1992). Psychological adjustment to pediatric physical disorders : a meta-analytic review. Journal Pediatric Psychology, 17, 133-157.
  16. Lee, B. R., Park, H. J., & Lee, K. Y. (2013). Korean Adolescents’ Physical Health and Peer Relationships: The Mediating Effects of Self-perceived Health Status and Resilience. Korean Journal of Child Studies, 34(5), 127-144.
  17. Lee, D. Y., Seo, J. Y., Lee, C. S., Park, C. S., Kim, B. J., Cha, B. S., & Lee, S. J. (2015). Allergic diseases, excessive internet use and suicidal ideation in Korean adolescents. Comprehensive psychiatry, 62, 100-104.
  18. Lieb, R., Zimmermann, P., Friis, R. H., Hofler, M., Tholen, S., & Wittchen, H. U. (2002). The natural course of DSM-IV somatoform disorders and syndromes among adolescents and young adults: a prospective-longitudinal community study. European Psychiatry, 17(6), 321-331.
  19. Lee, K. H.(2004). Psychological aspects of suicide. Journal of Korean Society of Biological Therapies in Psychiatry, 10(1), 11-14.
  20. Lee, K. J., & Cho, S. H. (2004). Psychological characteristics of high risk group in adolescent suicide. The Korean Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 16(4), 667-685.
  21. Lee, M. S., & Joe, S. H. (2008). Psychosomatic management of medically ill children and adolescents. Korean Journal Psychosomatic Medicine, 16(1), 17-24.
  22. Luna, M. F.G., Fischer, G. B., Luna, J. R. G., Silva, M. G. C., Almeida, P. C., & Chiesa, D. (2013). Prevalences of asthma and rhinitis among adolescents in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil: temporal changes. Journal Brasileiro Pneumologia, 39(2), 128-137.
  23. Maesano, I. A., Hulin, M., Lavaud, F., Raherison, C., Kopferschmitt, C., Blay, F. D., Charpin, D. A., & Denis, C. (2012). Poor air quality in classrooms related to asthma and rhinitis in primary schoolchildren of the French 6 Cities Study. Thorax, 67, 682-688. Retrieved from
  24. Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Education & Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). The 10th Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web. Retrieved form
  25. Moon, D. K., & Kim, Y. H. (2011). A meta-regression analysis on related triggering variables of adolescents' suicidal Ideation. Korean Journal of Counseling, 12(3), 945-964.
  26. Mo, S. H., Kim, H. J., Lee, S. Y., Kim, J. H., Yun, K. M. (2013). Actual state of children and adolescent's mental healthIII (Research reports 13-R16). National Youth Policy Institue.
  27. Olson, R. A., Holden, E. W., Friedman, A., Faust, J., Kenning, M., & Mason, P. J. (1988). Psychological consultation in a children’s hospital: An evaluation of services. Journal Pediatric Psychology, 13(4), 479-492.
  28. Park, B. K. (2007). Factors associated with adolescents’ suicidal ideation: focus on self-esteem and depression as mediators. Journal of Korean Association of Human Ecology, 16(3), 505-522.
  29. Park, E. O. (2014). Suicide ideation and the related factors among korean adults by gender. Journal of Agricultural Medicine & Community Health, 39(9), 161-175.
  30. Park, H. J. (2015). Effect of sleep duration on suicidal ideation in Korean adolescents. Journal of Korean Society of School Health, 28(1), 1-9.
  31. Park, N. H., & Lee, H. J. (2002). A critical review of health behavior studies of adolescents conducted in Korea. The Journal of Korean Community Nursing, 13(1), 98-114.
  32. Pompili, M., Serafini, G., Innamorati, M., Dominici, G., Ferracuti, S., Kotzalidis, G.D., Serra, G., Girardi, P., Janiri, L., Tatarelli, R., Sher, L., & Lester, D. (2010). Suicidal behavior and alcohol abuse. International journal of environmental research and public health, 7, 1392-1431. doi:10.3390/ijerph7041392
  33. Shin, J. K. (2006). The effect of negative affect and the moderating effects of emotional expressiveness and self-concept on adolescent’s experience of somatic symptoms. The Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 25(3), 727-746.
  34. Smith, M. S., & Martin, S. E. (1996). Psychosocial correlates of recurrent headache in a junior high school population. Journal of Adolescent Health, 18(2), 152-152.
  35. Statistics Korea. (2014). Cause of death statistics. Retrieved form
  36. Sylvia YC, K., & Daniel TL, S. (2011). Socio-demographic correlates of suicidal ideation among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20(4), 463-472, ISSN:0334-0139
  37. Szanto, K., Gildengers, A., Mulsant, B. H., Brown, G., Alexopoulos, G. S., & ReynoldsIII, C. F. (2002). Identification of suicidal ideation and prevention of suicidal behaviour in the elderly. drugs aging. Therapy in practice, 19(1), 11-24.
  38. Walker, L. S., Garber, J., & Greene, J. W. (1993). Psychosocial correlates of recurrent childhood pain: a comparison of pediatric patients with recurrent abdominal pain, organic illness, and psychiatric disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 248-258.
  39. Wynder, E., Williams, C. L., Laakso, K., & Levinstein. (1981). Screening for risk factors for chronic disease in children from fifteen countries, prevention. Med, 10, 121-132.
  40. Yang, M. T., Lee, W. T., Liang, J. S., Lin, Y. J., Fu, W. M., & Chen, C. C. (2014). Hyperactivity and impulsivity in children with untreated allergic rhinitis: corroborated by rating scale and continuous performance test. Pediatr Neonatol, 55, 168-74.
  41. Yoo, J. S, Son J. W, & Nam, M. S. (2008). Factor influencing suicide ideation among adolescents. Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing, 19(3), 419-430.
  42. Goodwin, R.D., Kroenke, K., Hoven, C.W., & Spitzer, R.L. (2003). Major depression, physical illness, and suicidal ideation in primary care. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 501-505.

Cited by

  1. The relationship between suicidal ideation and experience with drug in South Korean adolescents using data from the 12th 2016 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey vol.35, pp.2, 2018,