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Korean J Fam Med. 2017 Jul;38(4):213-219. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2017.38.4.213. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

The Mediating Role of Parental Support in the Relationship between Life Stress and Suicidal Ideation among Middle School Students.

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Department of Family Medicine, Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Youth suicide is increasingly being recognized as a major social problem in South Korea. In this study, we aimed to explore the effects of parental support on the relationship between life stress and suicidal ideation among middle-school students.


This study analyzed data from a cross-sectional study on mental health conducted by the South Korea National Youth Policy Institute between May and July of 2013. Questionnaire responses from 3,007 middle-school students regarding stress factors, thoughts of suicide during the past year, and parental support were analyzed in terms of 3 subscale elements: emotional, academic, and financial support.


Among the participants, 234 male students (7.8%) and 476 female students (15.8%) reported experiencing suicidal ideation in the past year. Life stress significantly influenced suicidal ideation (P<0.001), and parental support and all of the subscale elements had a significant influence on decreasing suicidal ideation. As shown in model 1, life stress increased suicidal ideation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.318; P<0.001), and, in model 2, the effect of life stress on suicidal ideation decreased with parental support (aOR, 1.238; P<0.001).


Parental support was independently related to a decrease in suicidal ideation, and life stress was independently related to an increase in suicidal ideation. Parental support buffered the relationship between life stress and suicidal ideation.


Adolescent; Parent-Child Relations; Social Support; Stress, Psychological; Suicidal Ideation

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

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