Suicide risk is highest among students with the lowest grades

By Staff Writer

The parents of children who consistently get poor grades in school may want to think about sending them to rehab facilities. A new study indicates that students who are at the bottom of their classes are up to three times more likely to commit suicide.

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute of Sweden examined the records of nearly 900,000 individuals who were born between 1972 and 1981. They found that grades were a strong predictor of suicide risk. Those who scored the highest in school were the least likely to commit suicide, while the poorest students were the most likely to kill themselves.

“The correlation is clear, despite having excluded young people who had been in hospital for mental health problems or drug-related diagnoses,” said Charlotte Bjorkenstam, who led the study. “What our study reveals most of all is how important it is to identify and assist pupils who are unable to meet the performance requirements.”

The relationship between grades and suicide risk was particularly strong among males. The findings suggest school officials and parents should watch these students for signs of problems, and consider sending them to rehab facilities if appropriate.