Assessing Self-rated Instruments to Detect Suicidal Thought among High School Students in Jakarta


The 2015 Global School-Based Student Health Survey revealed that suicidal thought in Junior and High school students was 4.3% in males and 5.9% in females. This harmful idea might be associated with an emotional problem in Jakarta. This study aimed to search validity of instrument measuring emotional problem in identifying suicidal thought, and the association of both problems. Secondary data analysis was conducted
using survey result in one public and one vocational high school purposively chosen in 2015 by the Ministry of Health in South Jakarta. All students of the tenth and eleventh grade were assessed using self-rated of the Strengths and Difficulties Question (SDQ) to measure emotional problem, and Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) to detect potential depression including item asking suicidal thought. Analysis used criterion validity (sensitivity and specificity), and chi-square test. Respondents’ gender was almost twice in male and averagely aged 15 years. SDQ screened suicidal thought had 35.2% sensitivity (95%) CI 28.5% - 42.4%) and 85.6% specificity (95% CI 82.8% - 88%). Negative Predictive Value was 83.5% and Positive Predictive Value was 38.9% (p=0.001). Overall, emotional problem was found in 20.51%, potential depression was 30.39%, and suicidal thought was 18.3%.SDQ is specific but less sensitive in screening suicidal thought. Since suicidal thought in students of Jakarta was higher than the national figure, these self-rated instruments were strongly recommended utilized by the institution of high school in Jakarta in screening for a mental health problem.

Keywords: suicidal thought; high-school; Jakarta; SDQ; CDI.

[1] IASP – International Association for Suicide Prevention. 2016. World Suicide Prevention Day. (accessed October 20, 2016)

[2] Kovacs, M. 1992. Children’s Depression Inventory. North Tonawanda, NY: MultiHealth Systems, Inc.

[3] Nanayakkara, S, et al. 2013. Risk Factors: Depression and Exposure to Suicide Predict Suicide Attempt. Wiley Online Library.

[4] Roy, B.V., 2008. Construct validity of the five-factor Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in pre-, early, and late adolescence. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, no.49:12: 1304 – 1312.

[5] SDQ Info. (accessed on October 15, 2016)

[6] Silva, T.B., 2015. SDQ: discriminative validity and diagnostic potential. Frontiers in Psychology.

[7] Siswanto. 2016. Challenges of Mental Health Research in Indonesia. Paper presented at the Workshop Research Capacity Building Towards the Implementation of National Institute of Mental Health in the World of Mental Health Day 2016 held by RSJ Dr Soeharto Heerdjan & the Health Ministry, Jakarta.

[8] Tempo. 2012. (accessed on October 20, 2016)

[9] The Health Ministry’s Directorate General of Disease Control and Prevention. 2016. Report on the result of evaluating the characteristics of the psychometric questionnaire Services Evaluation on Mental Health Cases (EPK2J), Jakarta.

[10] Yusuf, N.R. 2014. A Rookie & the Passage of the Mental Health Law: The Indonesian Story. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.