J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2016 Nov;55(4):450-457. 10.4306/jknpa.2016.55.4.450.

The Effects of Social Anxiety, Self-Esteem, and Depression on Suicidal Ideation in Korean Adolescents

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea. cksinj@eulji.ac.kr
  • 2Daedeok-gu Mental Health Center, Daejeon, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the manner by which social anxiety symptoms, self-esteem, and depression influence suicidal ideation in adolescents.
This study involved 1320 middle school students. All participants completed several self-assessment questionnaires. Correlations among variables were assessed, and multiple regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationships between variables and suicidal ideation. Finally, a structural equation model was used to determine the pathways by which the tested variables can influence suicidal ideation.
Symptoms of social anxiety were positively correlated with depression and suicidal ideation, but were negatively correlated with self-esteem. Additionally, multiple regression analysis revealed that social anxiety symptoms, depression, and self-esteem were significantly related to suicidal ideation. The influence of social anxiety symptoms on suicidal ideation was associated with an increase in depression, whereas self-esteem acted as an intermediary between social anxiety symptoms and depression.
The results of the present study demonstrate that social anxiety symptoms can directly increase depression and lower self-esteem, which in turn can increase the risk of suicidal ideation. Thus, it may be possible to prevent depression and ultimately lower the risk of suicide in adolescents by pursuing programs designed for the early detection of social anxiety symptoms and by using intervention programs that improve self-esteem.


Adolescent; Social anxiety; Self-esteem; Depression; Suicidal ideation

MeSH Terms

Suicidal Ideation*


  • Fig. 1 Analysis of structural equation model. * : p<0.001 (χ2=99.847, df=2, GFI=0.965, NFI=0.946, TLI=0.841, CFI=0.947, RMSEA=0.193). GFI : Goodness of fit index, NFI : Normed fit index, TLI : Tucker Lewis index, CFI : Comparative fit index, RMSEA : Root mean square error of approximation.


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