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.

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    • "Children adhering to these cultural ideals exhibit behaviors such as not interrupting adults without saying " excuse me, " having a polite disposition, and accepting parental decisions with little to no arguing. Latino parents who have children who are bien educado are considered to be " good parents " by extended family members (Peñ a et al., 2011). They receive positive reports from teachers regarding their child's comportment at school, and worry less about their adolescents getting into trouble for challenging authority, such as the police (Fuligni, Witkow, & Garcia, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this paper is to describe extreme behavioral patterns that the authors have observed in treating Latina adolescents who are suicidal and their parents within the framework of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). These extreme patterns, called dialectical corollaries, serve to supplement the adolescent/family dialectical dilemmas described by Rathus and Miller (2002) as part of dialectical behavior therapy for suicidal adolescents with borderline personality features. The dialectical corollaries proposed are "old school versus new school" and "overprotecting" versus "underprotecting," and they are described in-depth. We also identify specific treatment targets for each corollary and discuss therapeutic techniques aimed at achieving a synthesis between the polarities that characterize each corollary. Lastly, we suggest clinical strategies to use when therapists reach a therapeutic impasse with the parent-adolescent dyad (i.e., dialectical failures).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · American journal of psychotherapy
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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)
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · BMC Public Health
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