Resilience, Optimism can reduce Suicidal Ideation among Dhaka University Students

Muhammad Kamal Uddin & Sanjida Kabir

Department of Psychology, University of Dhaka ,Farhana Zaman, Sajida Foundation, Dhaka

Twenty-six students of the University of Dhaka committed suicide in 13 years (from 2005 to 2018), of that nine killed themselves within 11 months of the year 2018. This alarming rate of suicide prompted us to test whether suicidal ideation (precursor to suicide) among university students can be predicted by resilience and optimism. A questionnaire package comprised of a Personal Information Form along with Bangla translated versions of the Resilience Scale for Adult,  Life Orientation Test-Revised, and Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation  was administered to a purposive sample of 200 (50% female and 50% male, mean age = 23.01 years) 4th year undergraduate students of 10 departments. Data were analyzed computing mean, standard deviation, t-value, Pearson r and regression in SPSS version 20.0. The results of the t-test demonstrated no significant gender differences in all the three major variables under study. Test of correlation analysis revealed significant association between resilience and optimism (r = .42, p < .01), resilience and suicidal ideation (r = -.48, p < .01), and optimism and suicidal ideation (r = -.31, p < .01). Stepwise regression analysis revealed that resilience and optimism appear as significant and negative predictors (β = -.42, β = -.14) jointly explaining about 24% variance in suicidal ideation. The findings have implications for students, parents, teachers, educators, and mental health professionals, especially for school psychologists.

Keywords: Resilience; Optimism; Suicidal Ideation; t-value; Pearson r; Regression

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