Article

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

ABSTRACT

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.

0 Followers
 · 
25 Reads
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of psychosomatic research
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cutaneous body image (CBI), defined as the individual's mental representation of his or her skin, hair, and nails, is an important clinical factor in dermatologic disorders and often the primary consideration in deciding whether to proceed with cosmetic procedures or institute treatment in some skin disorders such as acne. CBI is a highly subjective construct that can be significantly confounded by cultural, psychosocial, and psychiatric factors. Assessment of CBI in the dermatology patient is best accomplished using a biopsychosocial model that involves (1) evaluation of concerns about the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails, (2) assessment of comorbid body image pathologies, especially body dysmorphic disorder, and (3) assessment of other psychiatric comorbidities such as major depressive disorder that can confound the presentation of the CBI complaint. Depending on the psychiatric comobidities, an assessment of suicide risk may have to be done, and if necessary, a referral made to a mental health professional. The clinician should consider the patient's developmental stage (eg, body image concerns are likely to be much greater in the adolescent patient independent of his or her dermatologic disorder) and sociocultural background (eg, a desire for lighter skin in some ethnic groups), factors that can also have a major effect on CBI.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · Clinics in dermatology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: By analysing the suicide notes from suicide victims 15 years and younger, we attempt to gain insight into the process leading to youth suicide and explore the characteristics of the note writers. Method: During a psychological autopsy on 42 youths, we were entrusted with 23 suicide notes in which we explored the themes and compared the note writers to the non-note writers. Results: The key messages were as follows: explain the reason for suicide, declare love and give instructions. The note writers had showed suicidal behaviour more frequently than non-note writers. Conclusion: In the notes from youth suicide victims they present themselves as fully responsible and without confusion or overwhelming despair. The notes are likely equally informative as the notes of older victims.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Show more