Mental disorder comorbidity and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student initiative

WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators, Randy P. Auerbach*, Philippe Mortier, Ronny Bruffaerts, Jordi Alonso, Corina Benjet, Pim Cuijpers, Koen Demyttenaere, David D. Ebert, Jennifer Greif Green, Penelope Hasking, Sue Lee, Christine Lochner, Margaret McLafferty, Maria V. Petukhova, Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, Anthony J. Rosellini, Nancy A. Sampson, Gemma Vilagut, Alan M. Zaslavsky & 2 others Ronald C. Kessler, Oi Ling SIU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Comorbidity is a common feature of mental disorders. However, needs assessment surveys focus largely on individual disorders rather than on comorbidity even though the latter is more important for predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In the current report, we take a step beyond this conventional approach by presenting data on the prevalence and correlates (sociodemographic factors, college-related factors, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors) of the main multivariate profiles of common comorbid Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV disorders among students participating in the first phase of the World Health Organization World Mental Health International College Student initiative. 

Method: A web-based mental health survey was administered to first year students in 19 colleges across eight countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Spain, United States; 45.5% pooled response rate) to screen for seven common DSM-IV mental disorders: major depression, mania/hypomania, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, alcohol use disorder, and drug use disorder. We focus on the 14,348 respondents who provided complete data; 38.4% screened positive for at least one 12-month disorder. 

Results: Multivariate disorder profiles were detected using latent class analysis (LCA). The least common class (C1; 1.9% of students) was made up of students with high comorbidity (four or more disorders, the majority including mania/hypomania). The remaining 12-month cases had profiles of internalizing–externalizing comorbidity (C2; 5.8%), internalizing comorbidity (C3; 14.6%), and pure disorders (C4; 16.1%). The 1.9% of students in C1 had much higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than other students. Specifically, 15.4% of students in C1 made a suicide attempt in the 12 months before the survey compared with 1.3–2.6% of students with disorders in C2–4, 0.2% of students with lifetime disorders but no 12-month disorders (C5), and 0.1% of students with no lifetime disorders (C6). 

Conclusions: In line with prior research, comorbid mental disorders were common; however, sociodemographic correlates of LCA profiles were modest. The high level of comorbidity underscores the need to develop and test transdiagnostic approaches for treatment in college students.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1752
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
Volume28
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Fingerprint

Health Surveys
Mental Disorders
Comorbidity
Mental Health
Students
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Global Health
Northern Ireland
Needs Assessment
Panic Disorder
Belgium
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
South Africa
Mexico
Anxiety Disorders
Spain
Suicide
Substance-Related Disorders
Germany

Bibliographical note

Prof. SIU Oi-ling is one of the WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators

Keywords

  • college student mental health
  • comorbidity
  • mental disorders
  • suicide thoughts and behaviors

Cite this

WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators ; Auerbach, Randy P. ; Mortier, Philippe ; Bruffaerts, Ronny ; Alonso, Jordi ; Benjet, Corina ; Cuijpers, Pim ; Demyttenaere, Koen ; Ebert, David D. ; Green, Jennifer Greif ; Hasking, Penelope ; Lee, Sue ; Lochner, Christine ; McLafferty, Margaret ; Petukhova, Maria V. ; Pinder-Amaker, Stephanie ; Rosellini, Anthony J. ; Sampson, Nancy A. ; Vilagut, Gemma ; Zaslavsky, Alan M. ; Kessler, Ronald C. ; SIU, Oi Ling. / Mental disorder comorbidity and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student initiative. In: International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research. 2019 ; Vol. 28, No. 2.
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title = "Mental disorder comorbidity and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student initiative",
abstract = "Objectives: Comorbidity is a common feature of mental disorders. However, needs assessment surveys focus largely on individual disorders rather than on comorbidity even though the latter is more important for predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In the current report, we take a step beyond this conventional approach by presenting data on the prevalence and correlates (sociodemographic factors, college-related factors, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors) of the main multivariate profiles of common comorbid Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV disorders among students participating in the first phase of the World Health Organization World Mental Health International College Student initiative. Method: A web-based mental health survey was administered to first year students in 19 colleges across eight countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Spain, United States; 45.5{\%} pooled response rate) to screen for seven common DSM-IV mental disorders: major depression, mania/hypomania, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, alcohol use disorder, and drug use disorder. We focus on the 14,348 respondents who provided complete data; 38.4{\%} screened positive for at least one 12-month disorder. Results: Multivariate disorder profiles were detected using latent class analysis (LCA). The least common class (C1; 1.9{\%} of students) was made up of students with high comorbidity (four or more disorders, the majority including mania/hypomania). The remaining 12-month cases had profiles of internalizing–externalizing comorbidity (C2; 5.8{\%}), internalizing comorbidity (C3; 14.6{\%}), and pure disorders (C4; 16.1{\%}). The 1.9{\%} of students in C1 had much higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than other students. Specifically, 15.4{\%} of students in C1 made a suicide attempt in the 12 months before the survey compared with 1.3–2.6{\%} of students with disorders in C2–4, 0.2{\%} of students with lifetime disorders but no 12-month disorders (C5), and 0.1{\%} of students with no lifetime disorders (C6). Conclusions: In line with prior research, comorbid mental disorders were common; however, sociodemographic correlates of LCA profiles were modest. The high level of comorbidity underscores the need to develop and test transdiagnostic approaches for treatment in college students.",
keywords = "college student mental health, comorbidity, mental disorders, suicide thoughts and behaviors",
author = "{WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators} and Auerbach, {Randy P.} and Philippe Mortier and Ronny Bruffaerts and Jordi Alonso and Corina Benjet and Pim Cuijpers and Koen Demyttenaere and Ebert, {David D.} and Green, {Jennifer Greif} and Penelope Hasking and Sue Lee and Christine Lochner and Margaret McLafferty and Nock, {Matthew K.} and Petukhova, {Maria V.} and Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Rosellini, {Anthony J.} and Sampson, {Nancy A.} and Gemma Vilagut and Zaslavsky, {Alan M.} and Kessler, {Ronald C.} and SIU, {Oi Ling}",
note = "Prof. SIU Oi-ling is one of the WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/mpr.1752",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
journal = "International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research",
issn = "1049-8931",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "2",

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WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators, Auerbach, RP, Mortier, P, Bruffaerts, R, Alonso, J, Benjet, C, Cuijpers, P, Demyttenaere, K, Ebert, DD, Green, JG, Hasking, P, Lee, S, Lochner, C, McLafferty, M, Petukhova, MV, Pinder-Amaker, S, Rosellini, AJ, Sampson, NA, Vilagut, G, Zaslavsky, AM, Kessler, RC & SIU, OL 2019, 'Mental disorder comorbidity and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student initiative', International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, vol. 28, no. 2, e1752. https://doi.org/10.1002/mpr.1752

Mental disorder comorbidity and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student initiative. / WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators; Auerbach, Randy P.; Mortier, Philippe; Bruffaerts, Ronny; Alonso, Jordi; Benjet, Corina; Cuijpers, Pim; Demyttenaere, Koen; Ebert, David D.; Green, Jennifer Greif; Hasking, Penelope; Lee, Sue; Lochner, Christine; McLafferty, Margaret; Petukhova, Maria V.; Pinder-Amaker, Stephanie; Rosellini, Anthony J.; Sampson, Nancy A.; Vilagut, Gemma; Zaslavsky, Alan M.; Kessler, Ronald C.; SIU, Oi Ling (Collaborator).

In: International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, Vol. 28, No. 2, e1752, 01.06.2019.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mental disorder comorbidity and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys International College Student initiative

AU - WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators

AU - Auerbach, Randy P.

AU - Mortier, Philippe

AU - Bruffaerts, Ronny

AU - Alonso, Jordi

AU - Benjet, Corina

AU - Cuijpers, Pim

AU - Demyttenaere, Koen

AU - Ebert, David D.

AU - Green, Jennifer Greif

AU - Hasking, Penelope

AU - Lee, Sue

AU - Lochner, Christine

AU - McLafferty, Margaret

AU - Nock, Matthew K.

AU - Petukhova, Maria V.

AU - Pinder-Amaker, Stephanie

AU - Rosellini, Anthony J.

AU - Sampson, Nancy A.

AU - Vilagut, Gemma

AU - Zaslavsky, Alan M.

AU - Kessler, Ronald C.

A2 - SIU, Oi Ling

N1 - Prof. SIU Oi-ling is one of the WHO WMH-ICS Collaborators

PY - 2019/6/1

Y1 - 2019/6/1

N2 - Objectives: Comorbidity is a common feature of mental disorders. However, needs assessment surveys focus largely on individual disorders rather than on comorbidity even though the latter is more important for predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In the current report, we take a step beyond this conventional approach by presenting data on the prevalence and correlates (sociodemographic factors, college-related factors, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors) of the main multivariate profiles of common comorbid Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV disorders among students participating in the first phase of the World Health Organization World Mental Health International College Student initiative. Method: A web-based mental health survey was administered to first year students in 19 colleges across eight countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Spain, United States; 45.5% pooled response rate) to screen for seven common DSM-IV mental disorders: major depression, mania/hypomania, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, alcohol use disorder, and drug use disorder. We focus on the 14,348 respondents who provided complete data; 38.4% screened positive for at least one 12-month disorder. Results: Multivariate disorder profiles were detected using latent class analysis (LCA). The least common class (C1; 1.9% of students) was made up of students with high comorbidity (four or more disorders, the majority including mania/hypomania). The remaining 12-month cases had profiles of internalizing–externalizing comorbidity (C2; 5.8%), internalizing comorbidity (C3; 14.6%), and pure disorders (C4; 16.1%). The 1.9% of students in C1 had much higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than other students. Specifically, 15.4% of students in C1 made a suicide attempt in the 12 months before the survey compared with 1.3–2.6% of students with disorders in C2–4, 0.2% of students with lifetime disorders but no 12-month disorders (C5), and 0.1% of students with no lifetime disorders (C6). Conclusions: In line with prior research, comorbid mental disorders were common; however, sociodemographic correlates of LCA profiles were modest. The high level of comorbidity underscores the need to develop and test transdiagnostic approaches for treatment in college students.

AB - Objectives: Comorbidity is a common feature of mental disorders. However, needs assessment surveys focus largely on individual disorders rather than on comorbidity even though the latter is more important for predicting suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In the current report, we take a step beyond this conventional approach by presenting data on the prevalence and correlates (sociodemographic factors, college-related factors, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors) of the main multivariate profiles of common comorbid Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV disorders among students participating in the first phase of the World Health Organization World Mental Health International College Student initiative. Method: A web-based mental health survey was administered to first year students in 19 colleges across eight countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Spain, United States; 45.5% pooled response rate) to screen for seven common DSM-IV mental disorders: major depression, mania/hypomania, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, alcohol use disorder, and drug use disorder. We focus on the 14,348 respondents who provided complete data; 38.4% screened positive for at least one 12-month disorder. Results: Multivariate disorder profiles were detected using latent class analysis (LCA). The least common class (C1; 1.9% of students) was made up of students with high comorbidity (four or more disorders, the majority including mania/hypomania). The remaining 12-month cases had profiles of internalizing–externalizing comorbidity (C2; 5.8%), internalizing comorbidity (C3; 14.6%), and pure disorders (C4; 16.1%). The 1.9% of students in C1 had much higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than other students. Specifically, 15.4% of students in C1 made a suicide attempt in the 12 months before the survey compared with 1.3–2.6% of students with disorders in C2–4, 0.2% of students with lifetime disorders but no 12-month disorders (C5), and 0.1% of students with no lifetime disorders (C6). Conclusions: In line with prior research, comorbid mental disorders were common; however, sociodemographic correlates of LCA profiles were modest. The high level of comorbidity underscores the need to develop and test transdiagnostic approaches for treatment in college students.

KW - college student mental health

KW - comorbidity

KW - mental disorders

KW - suicide thoughts and behaviors

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U2 - 10.1002/mpr.1752

DO - 10.1002/mpr.1752

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 28

JO - International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research

JF - International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research

SN - 1049-8931

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M1 - e1752

ER -