Cultural and interpersonal risk factors for suicide ideation and suicide attempts among Muslim college students from 11 nations

Mehmet Eskin, Nazli Baydar, Hacer Harlak, Motasem Hamdan, Anwar Mechri, Ulker Isayeva, Ahmed M. Abdel-Khalek, Mohsen Rezaeian, Nargis Asad, Mayssah El-Nayal, Fadia Al Buhairan, Isa Multazam Noor, Yousef Khader, Aqeel Khan, Alaa Al Sayyari, Albaraa Khader, Bahareh Behzadi, Cennet Şafak Öztürk, Hazem Agha, Laifa Annisa HendarminMurad Moosa Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Research on suicidality in low to middle-income countries is scarce. We addressed this issue by investigating suicidality in a cross-national college student samples from 11 predominantly low to middle-income majority Muslim countries. Methods: The sample consisted of 7427 college students (56% female) who reported to be affiliated with Islam. Data on self-construal, social support, negative life-events, acceptability of suicide, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts were collected with self-administered questionnaires. Results: Acceptability of suicide and the experience of negative life-events were positively, and perceived social support was negatively associated with suicidal ideation. Interdependent self-construal was negatively related to the acceptability of suicide and positively associated with perceived social support, implying a negative indirect effect on suicidal ideation although its direct effect was positive. The number of negative life-events was the strongest positive predictor of ever attempting suicide. The interdependent self-construal moderated the association of negative life-events with suicide attempts. Limitations: Cross-sectional and self-report nature of the study were its major limitations. Participants may have suppressed their responses about suicide because of religious and legal reasons. Conclusion: Remarkable similarities across 11 country samples emerged in the linkages between cultural and interpersonal factors with suicidality. Our findings highlight the value of a nuanced approach to suicidality, that can recognize the differences in the processes associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, as well as the need to consider the interplay of a broad range of personal, interpersonal, and cultural influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Negative life-events
  • Self-construal
  • Social support
  • Suicide
  • Suicide acceptability


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