Determinants of Suicidal Behaviour in Malaysia

  • Yong Kang Cheah Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Mohd Azahadi Ministry of Health Malaysia
  • Siew Nooi Phang Universiti Utara Malaysia
  • Noor Hazilah Abd Manaf International Islamic University Malaysia


A sharp rise in the prevalence of suicide has become a serious public health concern. Acquiring a better understanding of the determinants of suicidal behaviour can help to implement a more effective policy directed towards reducing the suicide rate. In this study, we attempt to examine the effects of sociodemographic, lifestyle and health factors on suicidal behaviour among Malaysian adults. A rigorous statistical method and a nationally representative data are used for analyses. We find that age, gender, race, marital status, self-rated health, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia are significantly associated with suicidal behaviour. Specifically, there are positive relationships between the likelihoods of engaging in suicidal behaviour and young adults, females, Indians/others, being unmarried, and having poor health conditions. We conclude that sociodemographic and health factors play an important role in affecting suicidal behaviour, whereas lifestyle factor does not. As an intervention measure towards overcoming the problem of high suicide rate, effective policies should be targeted at individuals who are likely to engage in suicidal behaviour.


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Author Biographies

Yong Kang Cheah, Universiti Utara Malaysia

School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Mohd Azahadi, Ministry of Health Malaysia

Centre for Burden of Disease Research, Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia

Siew Nooi Phang, Universiti Utara Malaysia

School of Government, College of Law, Government and International Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia

Noor Hazilah Abd Manaf, International Islamic University Malaysia

Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia

How to Cite
CHEAH, Yong Kang et al. Determinants of Suicidal Behaviour in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies, [S.l.], v. 55, n. 2, p. 231-243, nov. 2018. ISSN 1511-4554. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 may 2020. doi: