Mood Emot 2019 Nov; 17(3): 99-105  
Association between Social Anxiety Symptoms and Suicidal Risk in College Students
Sang-Hun Lee, MD, Hyun-Ju Yang, MD, PhD, Na Ri Kang, MD, Young-Eun Jung, MD, PhD, Joon Hyuk Park, MD, PhD, Moon-Doo Kim, MD, PhD, Young-Sook Kwak, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju, Korea
Correspondence to: Young-Eun Jung, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry, Jeju National University School of Medicine, 15 Aran 13-gil, Jeju 63241, Korea
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Received: September 9, 2019; Revised: September 26, 2019; Accepted: October 1, 2019; Published online: November 30, 2019.
© Korean Society for Affective Disorders. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Social anxiety and suicide are serious common problems in college students. However, there are few studies on the relationship between social anxiety symptoms and suicidal risk. Therefore, we evaluated the association between social anxiety symptoms and suicidal risk in college students.
Methods: A total of 579 college students were recruited for a college-based cross-sectional survey in the Jeju area. The participants completed a questionnaire gathering sociodemographic information; they also completed the Korean Social Avoidance and Distress Scale (SADS) to assess social anxiety symptoms and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) to assess depressive symptoms. To obtain information regarding suicidal risk, we administered the Korean version of the Suicide module of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.).
Results: The prevalence of higher levels of social anxiety symptoms among college students was 28.0% (n=162). A higher level of social anxiety symptoms resulted in a 2.10-times higher suicidal risk after adjusting for depression in college students (95% confidence interval, 1.05-4.23; p=0.037).
Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, social anxiety symptoms should be managed and controlled to prevent suicidality in Korean college students.
Keywords: Social anxiety symptoms; Suicidal risk; Depression; College students

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