Suicidal ideation among undergraduate students: Academic stress and self-esteem as predictive factors

  • Francisca Chinyere Nwankwo Nkwuda
  • Chuka Mike Ifeagwazi
  • Sampson Kelechi Nwonyi
  • Ronald Charlse Oginyi


This study investigated academic stress and self-esteemas predictive factors in suicidal ideation among undergraduates. Participants were 482 undergraduate students with age range of 18- 47 = (M = 23.93, SD = 3.50). The participants completed the Suicidal Ideation Scale, Academic Stress Scale, and Index of Self-esteem. Results of hierarchical multiple regressionanalysis showed that test stress (β = .12, t = 2.40, p< .05) and study stress (β = .12, t = 2.4, p<.05) significantly predicted suicidal ideation among undergraduates while teacher stress (β=.09, t = 1.74), results stress (β=-.05, t = -.87), peer stress (β=.07, t = 1.44), time management stress (β = .08, t = 1.51), and self-inflicted stress (β = .03, t = 1.55) did not significantly predict suicidal ideation. Finding also revealed that self-esteem (β = .06, t = 1.27) did not significantly predict suicidal ideation among undergraduates. These implied that academic related stressors have a role to play in suicidal ideation engagements. One practical implication of the finding of this study is that there should be policies and programmes for reduction of academic stress and regular psychological and counselling assessment for undergraduates in order to curtail the menace of suicidal ideation.