Twenty Percent of Chinese Middle School Students Have Considered Suicide

January 10, 2007 Updated: January 10, 2007

The Institute of Child and Adolescent Health at Peking University recently published a report that revealed roughly one out of every five middle school student in China have at one time considered committing suicide. In addition, nearly 7 percent of the students said that they had planned out suicides before. In both cases, there were more females with suicidal tendencies than males.

As reported by Beijing Youth Daily , the study was initiated in 2004 and included 15,000 students from 13 provinces. The average age of studied students was 16.3 years old. Slightly more female students were included in the study.

“A study on suicide in Beijing middle schools indicted that 22.9 percent of female students in the second and third years [of middle school] had considered committing suicide,” said Dr. Xing Yi of the Institute of Public Health at Beijing University. “These numbers are significantly greater than those for first year [middle school] students.”

Dr. Xi suggests that second and third year students are under pressure from parents to do well on upcoming high school entrance exams. The limited number of good high schools adds to this pressure. “The problems associated with such pressure are more serious for female students, because female students are more introverted,” continued Dr. Xi. “Male students have other outlets, such as sports, to help them in coping with such pressure.”

Yu Hua, manager of Psychological Consultation Department in the Center of Beijing Children and Adolescent Law and Psychology Consultation, said that the psychological problems for many teenagers coming to visit the center for consultation are caused by “puppy love.” “Puppy love” is the second largest reason given by students as a cause contributing toward suicide.

Other important factors influencing students considering suicide include dysfunctional family relationships; limited communication with fathers; feelings of isolation from classmates; bad relationships with teachers in prior semesters; feelings that current teacher dislikes them; pressure from other students to study harder; general feelings of inferiority; feelings that classmates are indifferent to their success or failure; and pressure from parents to achieve better grades.