Prevalence and Correlates of Lifetime Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Attempts Among Latino Subgroups in the United States

Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, Somerville, Mass. 02143, USA.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 5.5). 05/2007; 68(4):572-81. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.v68n0413
Source: PubMed


Limited data are available to understand the prevalence and correlates of suicidal behavior among U.S. Latino subgroups. This article compares the prevalence of lifetime suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among major U.S. Latino ethnic subgroups and identifies psycho-sociocultural factors associated with suicidal behaviors.
The National Latino and Asian American Study includes Spanish- and English-speaking Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latinos. A total of 2554 interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish by trained interviewers between May 2002 and November 2003. Lifetime psychiatric disorders were measured using the World Health Organization-Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Descriptive statistics and logistic models were used to determine demographic, clinical, cultural, and social correlates of lifetime suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
The lifetime prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Latinos was 10.1% and 4.4%, respectively. Puerto Ricans were more likely to report ideation as compared with other Latino subgroups, but this difference was eliminated after adjustments for demographic, psychiatric, and sociocultural factors. Most lifetime suicide attempts described by Latinos were reported as occurring when they were under the age of 18 years. Any lifetime DSM-IV diagnoses, including dual diagnoses, were associated with an increased risk of lifetime suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among Latinos. In addition, female gender, acculturation (born in the United States and English speaking), and high levels of family conflict were independently and positively correlated with suicide attempts among Latinos, even among those without any psychiatric disorder.
These findings reinforce the importance of understanding the process of acculturation, the role of family, and the sociocultural context for suicide risk among Latinos. These should be considered in addition to psychiatric diagnoses and symptoms in Latino suicide research, treatment, and prevention, especially among young individuals.

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Available from: William Sribney, Oct 04, 2015
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    • "Please cite this article as: Polanco-Roman, L., et al., Ethnic differences in prevalence and correlates of self-harm behaviors in a treatment-seeking sample of emerging adults. Psychiatry Research (2014), et al., 2006; Fortuna et al., 2007). More research is thus needed to resolve these inconsistencies. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined differences between White and ethnic minority emerging adults in the prevalence of self-harm behaviors – i.e., non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide attempts (SA) – and in well-documented risk (i.e., depressive symptoms, generalized anxiety symptoms, social anxiety symptoms, suicidal ideation (SI), substance use) and protective factors (i.e., religiosity/spirituality, family support, friend support) associated with NSSI and SAs. Emerging adults (N=1,156; 56% ethnic minority), ages 17–29 (M=22.3, SD=3.0), who presented at a counseling center at a public university in the Northeastern U.S. completed a clinical interview and self-report symptom measures. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to examine the association between risk and protective factors in predicting history of NSSI-only, any SA, and no self-harm separately among White and ethnic minority individuals. Ethnic differences emerged in the prevalence and correlates of NSSI and SAs. Social anxiety was associated with SAs among White individuals but with NSSI among ethnic minority individuals. Substance use was a more relevant risk factor for White individuals, and friend support was a more relevant protective factor for ethnic minority individuals. These findings suggest differing vulnerabilities to NSSI and SAs between White and ethnic minority emerging adults.
    Psychiatry Research 10/2014; 220(2014):927-934. DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.09.017 · 2.47 Impact Factor
    • "Latinos is predicted to double by 2050, understanding the unique factors that may contribute to suicide disparities among Hispanic adolescents is of increasing interest to researchers and practitioners alike [6] [7]. Bronfenbrenner [8] [9] developed an ecological model to understand an individual's concerns from a number of complex systems: the microsystem (e.g., school, family), mesosystem, exosystem (e.g., parental employment), and macrosystem (e.g., cultural norms). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents. Research shows Hispanic adolescents report disproportionate rates of both suicidal ideation and attempts. The purpose of the present study was twofold. First, the present study aimed to document the presence of suicidal ideation and self-harm behavior in a large heterogeneous sample of Hispanic adolescents. Second, this study sought to identify specific and unique culturally relevant stressors that were associated with the higher self-reported suicidal thoughts and self-harm among Hispanic males and females separately. Methods: Data were collected on 1,651 Hispanic adolescents who completed the Hispanic Stress Inventory-Adolescent Version. Results: Results of both rates and culture-related stressors that associated with the high rates of suicidal ideation are presented. Of the eight subscales measured in the Hispanic Stress Inventory-Adolescent, four subscales were predictive of either suicidal ideation or self-harm. For males, Acculturation Gap Stress was associated with suicidal thoughts and Discrimination Stress was associated with both suicidal thoughts and self-harm behavior. For females, Family Drug Stress was associated with suicidal thoughts. Acculturation Gap Stress, Family Drug Stress, and Immigration Stress were all significantly associated with self-harm behaviors. Conclusions: Findings are discussed as they inform future culturally competent prevention interventions and future research studies.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 07/2014; 55(5). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.05.017 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "Ninguno participante expresa que piensa que habrá después de su muerte, ni las reacciones de su familia a esta muerte. Algunos estudios han señalado que la conducta suicida en poblaciones latinas se da en el contexto de situaciones estresantes, por tanto el intento de suicidio es impulsivo (Fortuna et al., 2007). Algunas mujeres latinas con intento de suicidio estudiadas en EUA (Zayas & Pilat, 2008), refieren que al momento de intentar suicidarse, no pensaron en su muerte. "
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    ABSTRACT: El suicidio es un problema de salud pública mundial y los adolescentes son los que presentan con mayor frecuencia esta problemática. El estudio realizado identifica la estructura semántica del dominio cultural, el promedio de conocimiento y el grado de consenso cultural que sobre el suicidio tienen adolescentes con tentativa suicida. El trabajo es un estudio cualitativo mediante la técnica de listas libres. Participaron 29 adolescentes (13 a 18 años). Las listas libres fueron sobre: las causas; los signos y los síntomas; lo que siente, piensa y hace un adolescente antes de cometer suicidio y las estrategias de prevención de éste. Los resultados muestran para cada pregunta un único modelo semántico en el dominio cultural. En lo estructural se identifican los problemas familiares como la causa del intento suicida; la depresión y la tristeza son síntomas previos al intento suicida. La tristeza y la soledad, salir del problema y suicidarse es lo que considera que siente, piensa y hace un adolescente previo al intento de suicidio. Como estrategias de prevención, se identifican le ponga más atención y hablar con él. Los resultados ponderan la importancia de la familia para los programas de prevención de las conductas suicidas en adolescentes.
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