Familism, Family Environment, and Suicide Attempts among Latina Youth

George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.4). 04/2011; 41(3):330-41. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2011.00032.x
Source: PubMed


In this study, we examined the relationship between familism and family environment type as well as the relationship between family environment type and suicide attempts among Latina youth. Latina teen attempters (n = 109) and nonattempters (n = 107) were recruited from the New York City area. Latent class analysis revealed three family environment types: tight-knit, intermediate-knit, and loose-knit. Tight-knit families (high cohesion and low conflict) were significantly less likely to have teens who attempted suicide as compared with intermediate-knit families or loose-knit families. Moreover, familism increased the odds of being in a tight-knit family versus a loose-knit family and the odds of being in a tight-knit family versus a intermediate-knit. The results suggest that familism may protect against suicide behavior among Latinas via its influence on family environment.


Available from: Ana Baumann
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    • "This scale has been previously used in a study with Latina/o youth and produced acceptable levels of internal consistency (␣ ϭ .97), with evidence of good model fit with a CFA (Peña et al., 2011). For the current study, acceptable alphas were produced (females, ␣ ϭ .89; "
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    ABSTRACT: Gender roles are a basic organizing feature in Latina/o families (Cauce & Domenech-Rodriguez, 2002), in which female and male gender roles are clearly defined and are captured by the constructs of marianismo (Castillo, Perez, Castillo, & Ghosheh, 2010) and machismo (Arciniega, Anderson, Tovar-Blank, & Tracey, 2008), respectively. Latina/o adolescents are socialized to Latina/o culture’s gender role beliefs and expectations; however, research tends to be limited to its respective gender (e.g., studies of marianismo focusing only on women). The present study seeks to validate and explore gender differences in the Marianismo Beliefs Scale (MBS; Castillo et al., 2010) with both Mexican American adolescent boys and girls. Participants were 524 Mexican American adolescents in a midsized South Texas city. A categorical confirmatory factor analysis (CCFA) was performed to test the factor structure and measurement invariance across gender. Results of the CCFA provided a modified 5-factor version of the MBS—the Marianismo Beliefs Scale-Adolescent Version (MBSA). Cross-group mean comparisons indicate that girls endorsed higher levels of family pillar and spiritual pillar beliefs, whereas the boys scored significantly higher on beliefs that Latinas should self-silence to maintain harmony and should be subordinate to others. No gender differences were present for beliefs on Latinas being virtuous and chaste. The MBSA will be discussed in reference to its developmental and gender appropriateness in future research and clinical practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
    01/2014; 2(2):113. DOI:10.1037/lat0000017
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    • "Suicidal behavior is often the result of a complex matrix of clinical [14,15], familial [16], economic [17], political [18] and even geographical [19] variables. Indeed, recent studies are now beginning to observe a link between climate fluctuations and suicide [19-21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Suicide, a social phenomenon, is a major health problem in most countries. Yet data relating to the role social factors play in the development of this condition are lacking, with some factors shrouded in greater ambiguity than others. As such, this review aimed to determine the prevalence of social-related factors resulting in suicide and to present these findings through meta-analyses, allowing for causes of heterogeneity to be examined. Methods Scientific databases including PubMed and Science direct were searched using sensitive keywords. Two researchers reviewed the eligibility of studies and extracted data. Meta-regression with the Mantel-Haenszel method was conducted using a random effect model, in addition to subgroup analysis and Egger’s test. Results A total of 2,526 articles were retrieved through the initial search strategy, producing 20 studies from 16 provinces for analysis. The most frequent cause of attempted suicide among the 20 analyzed articles was family conflict with 32% (95% CI: 26–38). Other related factors included marital problems (26%; 95% CI: 20–33), economic constrains (12%; 95% CI: 8–15) and educational failures (5%; 95% CI: 3–8). Results of meta-regression analysis found that sample size significantly affects heterogeneity for the factor ‘family conflict’. Conclusions Social factors such as family conflicts and marital problems have a noticeable role in Iranian suicidology.
    BMC Public Health 01/2013; 13(1):4. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-4 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "The role of environmental risk factors such as demographic factors (including age and marital status) has been reported, interacting with stressful life events and social support (Casey et al., 2006) to influence both self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Tight-knit families appear to play a protective role (Pena et al., 2011), while children from families in which sexual or physical abuse, neglect, parental loss or severe family discord are present are at increased risk for self-harm and suicidal thoughts (Brodsky and Stanley 2008; Mann and Currier 2010). However, it is possible that some of these risk factors are themselves influenced by genotype. "
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    ABSTRACT: Thoughts of self-harm and suicidal behavior are thought to be influenced by both genetics and environment. Molecular genetic studies are beginning to address the question of which genes may be involved and whether different genes may be expressed in men and women. We examined thoughts of self-harm and suicidal behavior in a large general population twin sample including male and female same- and opposite-sex twins. In this study, data on self-reported thoughts of self-harm and suicide were obtained from self-report questionnaires (Beck Depression Inventory and Youth or Adult Self Report forms) in 6,265 twin pairs (11,008 individuals) aged 11-90 (62% female) from the Netherlands Twin Registry. Liability threshold models were compared including sex and age (linear and quadratic) effects. Models were compared using measures of parsimony to calculate the simplest model to the data. A model with additive genetic and unique environmental contributions fitted the data for both males and females. There were no qualitative sex differences, but the relative contributions differed between men and women. Heritability was higher in women (0.74, 95% CI 0.65-0.81) than men (0.45, 95% CI 0.28-0.61). The remaining variance was accounted for by environmental influence unique to an individual. These results suggest contributions from additive genetic factors to self-reported thoughts of self-harm and suicide and support the continued study of both molecular genetic and individual-specific environmental risk factors.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 01/2012; 159B(1):120-7. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.b.32010 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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