Suicide Notes Among Native Americans, Hispanics, and Anglos

Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84158-1289, USA.
Qualitative Health Research (Impact Factor: 2.19). 06/2011; 21(11):1484-94. DOI: 10.1177/1049732311412789
Source: PubMed


Suicide is a significant health problem, yet many questions regarding suicide remain unanswered. One of the most frequently asked questions is related to motive: "Why did that person complete suicide?" We explored motivations for completing suicide, especially with regard to cultural differences, by analyzing suicide notes written by Native Americans, Hispanics, and Anglos in New Mexico. Five categories emerged describing motivation: feelings of (a) alienation, (b) failure or inadequacy, (c) being psychologically overwhelmed; (d) the desire to leave problems behind, and (e) reunification in an afterlife. The largest difference to emerge between ethnic groups was in the alienation category, which included more Hispanics and Native Americans than Anglos. The overall lack of differences in motivation among the ethnic groups suggests that commonalities in suicidal behavior outweigh the differences. Practical implications for research and practice are discussed, along with strengths and limitations of the study.

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    • "Social isolation and exclusion have been associated with increased suicide risk [29] [30]. In a study [31] of 5426 Korean students from grades 9 to 12, problems with peer relationships, which are likely to be associated in part with feelings of social exclusion in this age group of teenagers , were independently associated with suicidal ideation, and to a lesser degree, mediated the association between body image dissatisfaction and suicidal ideation in both sexes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cutaneous body image (CBI) dissatisfaction, feelings of social exclusion and stigmatization have been associated with increased suicidality in dermatology patients. We examined the relation between CBI dissatisfaction and suicidal ideation in a non-clinical sample, and examined the possible mediating effect of interpersonal sensitivity (IS), a symptom dimension related to self-consciousness, feelings of inferiority and social exclusion. As part of a larger study, 312 community-based participants from London, Ontario, Canada (241 women, 71 men; mean±SD age: 38.4±14.9years) rated their CBI satisfaction, measured with the Cutaneous Body Image Scale (Gupta MA et al., 2004). The Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) (Derogatis L et al.,1982) was used to measure the constructs of suicidal ideation (4 suicide-related items from the BSI) and IS (Interpersonal Sensitivity subscale of BSI). Assessing mediation using the Baron & Kenny (1986) model, CBI satisfaction had a significant negative effect on suicidal ideation [c=-0.316, t(296)=-5.73, p<0.001] and IS [a=-0.365, t(297)=-6.76, p<0.001]; when CBI satisfaction and IS were considered together, IS had a significant positive effect on suicidal ideation (b=.690, t(295)=15.80, p<.001) while the effect of CBI satisfaction on suicidal ideation was no longer significant [c*=-.063, t(295)=-1.44, ns]. Our findings suggest an inverse relationship between CBI satisfaction and suicidal ideation, which is mediated by IS. This relationship likely falls in a continuum between non-clinical and clinical situations, with suicide risk being greater when individuals experience greater CBI dissatisfaction and social alienation.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 07/2013; 75(1):55-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.01.015 · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Main objectives were to utilize multivariate rather than traditional regression approaches to capture the heterogeneity of subtypes of suicidal ideation and behaviors within ethnic minority groups. Mental illness is associated with suicidal ideation and behaviors in a vast majority of the general population, making psychopathology a common identifier of suicide risk. Yet recent studies suggest a need to better characterize suicidal ideation and behaviors among ethnic minorities and Asian Americans who do not exhibit the most commonly assessed risk factors.Method The present study examined adults 18 years of age or older from the National Latino and Asian American Study and utilized latent class analysis to classify 191 Asian Americans with a history of serious suicidal ideation or attempts from a community sample into subtypes.ResultsTwo main subtypes resulted, including 48% in a “psychiatric” and 52% in a “nonpsychiatric” subtype of suicidal ideation and behaviors. The nonpsychiatric subtype was predominantly characterized by sociocultural factors (discrimination, family conflict, and low acculturation), medical problems, and limited functioning. The nonpsychiatric was less likely than the psychiatric subtype to seek help for mental health but was no different in access to a medical doctor, highlighting possible points of outreach.Conclusions Findings advance the culture and suicide literature by highlighting how current research and practice that characterize suicidal ideation and behaviors as a mental health phenomenon may not comprehensively identify suicidality among an ethnic minority group.
    Journal of Clinical Psychology 12/2014; 70(12). DOI:10.1002/jclp.22082 · 2.12 Impact Factor