Associations Between Reasons for Living and Diminished Suicide Intent Among African-American Female Suicide Attempters

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease (Impact Factor: 1.69). 07/2014; 202(8). DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000170
Source: PubMed


African-American women are at high risk for suicide ideation and suicide attempts and use emergency psychiatric services at disproportionately high rates relative to men and other ethnic groups. However, suicide death rates are low for this population. Cultural variables in the African-American community may promote resilience and prevent fatal suicidal behavior among African-American women. The present study evaluated self-reported reasons for living as a protective factor against suicidal intent and suicide attempt lethality in a sample of African-American female suicide attempters (n = 150). Regression analyses revealed that reasons for living were negatively associated with suicidal intent, even after controlling for spiritual well-being and symptoms of depression. These results indicate that the ability to generate and contemplate reasons for valuing life may serve as a protective characteristic against life-threatening suicidal behavior among African-American women. Implications for research and clinical practice are further discussed.

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Available from: Nadine Kaslow, Aug 25, 2014
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    7th International Congress of Clinical Psychology., Sevilla Spain; 11/2014
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to explore the impact of specific facets of impulsivity as measured by the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS), as well as reasons for living in predicting suicidal ideation among African American college-aged students. The incremental validity of each facet of the UPPS interacting with reasons for living, a construct meant to buffer against risk for suicide, was explored in a sample of African American students (N = 130; ages 18-24). Results revealed significant interactions between reasons for living and two factors of impulsivity, (lack of) premeditation and sensation seeking. Higher levels of sensation seeking and lack of premeditation in conjunction with lower reasons for living was associated with increased suicidal ideation. Neither urgency nor (lack of) perseverance significantly interacted with reasons for living in association with suicidal ideation. These results suggest including elements of impulsivity, specifically sensation seeking and (lack of) premeditation, when screening for suicidal ideation among African American youth. Future investigations should continue to integrate factors of both risk and protection when determining risk for suicide.
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