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Effects of Psychological Strains on Chinese College Students Depression and Suicidal Ideation

Jie Zhang, Yingjiang Liu and Dwight Hennessy

Psychological strains have been found more prevalent than mental disorders among Chinese rural young suicides, but the association between psychological strains and mental disorders, especially depression and suicidal ideation, is still unknown. For the present study, we used the data from 1,298 college students for a survey research conducted on a university campus in Beijing China, in 2012. Psychological strains were measured by the 60-item Psychological Strain Scales (PSS). We hypothesized that college students with higher scores of strains would report greater levels of depression and also demonstrate greater suicidal ideation. Findings suggested that aspiration strain and coping strain were positively associated with depression while value strain and coping strain were significantly correlated with suicidal ideation. Reduction of college students’ psychological strains might be an effective way to decrease their depression and suicidal ideation, so as to lower the suicide risks and improve the quality life among college students.