Sleep problem, suicide and self-harm in university students: a systematic review

Russell, K., Allan, S., Beattie, L., Bohan, J., MacMahon, K. and Rasmussen, S. (2019) Sleep problem, suicide and self-harm in university students: a systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 44, pp. 58-69. (doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2018.12.008)

Russell, K., Allan, S., Beattie, L., Bohan, J., MacMahon, K. and Rasmussen, S. (2019) Sleep problem, suicide and self-harm in university students: a systematic review. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 44, pp. 58-69. (doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2018.12.008)

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Abstract

Suicide and self-harm behaviours represent public health concerns, and university students are a particularly high risk group. Identifying modifiable risk factors for the development and maintenance of suicidal thoughts and behaviours is a research priority, as prevention is crucial. Research examining the relationship between poor sleep and self-harm/suicidality within university students is, for the first time, systematically evaluated, critically appraised, and synthesised. This literature consistently demonstrates that insomnia and nightmares are associated with elevated suicide risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviours within this subpopulation of young adults. However, as findings are predominantly derived from cross-sectional investigations, the directionality of this relationship is not yet clear. While research investigating the psychological processes driving these relationships is in its infancy, preliminary findings suggest that thwarted belongingness, socio-cognitive factors and emotional dysregulation could be partly responsible. Methodological limitations are highlighted and a research agenda suggesting the key directions for future research is proposed. Continued research in this area - employing longitudinal designs, and testing novel theoretically derived hypotheses - will be crucial to the development of suicide prevention and intervention efforts.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a PhD studentship from the University of Strathclyde.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bohan, Dr Jason and Beattie, Dr Louise and Macmahon, Dr Kenneth and Allan, Ms Stephanie and Russell, Miss Kirsten
Authors: Russell, K., Allan, S., Beattie, L., Bohan, J., MacMahon, K., and Rasmussen, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Sleep Medicine Reviews
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1087-0792
ISSN (Online):1532-2955
Published Online:23 January 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Crown Copyright
First Published:First published in Sleep Medicine Reviews 44: 58-69
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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