Psychological health among Chinese college students: a rural/urban comparison

Published in: Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health
Volume 29, issue 2, 2017 , pages: 179–186
DOI: 10.2989/17280583.2017.1345745
Author(s): Jie ZhangDepartment of Sociology, China, Qing QiCentral University of Finance and Economics, China, Robert P. DelprinoDepartment of Psychology, USA


The literature on suicide among the Chinese indicates that younger individuals from rural areas are at higher risk of suicide than their urban counterparts. While earlier studies have investigated the relationship between psychological health and major demographic variables, the relationship of psychological health as it relates to suicide by those from urban and rural areas have been rare. Studying the psychological health of college students from rural China in comparison with students who originate from urban areas may shed light on the mental health disparities of the two populations. This study examined the relationship of psychological health and rural/urban origins of college students in China. Data was obtained from 2 400 college students who completed a survey questionnaire while in attendance at a key university in Beijing China in 2013. Four standardised psychological health scales were administered to obtain measures of participants’ self-esteem, depression, social support, and suicide ideation. Findings indicated that urban students had significantly higher scores than their rural counterparts on self-esteem and social support. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups on measures of depression and suicide ideation.

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