5 years ago

An Empirical Model and Ethnic Differences in Cultural Meanings Via Motives for Suicide

Francesca Bahn, Joyce Chu, Johnson Ma, Oula Khoury, Peter Goldblum, Bruce Bongar
Objective The importance of cultural meanings via motives for suicide – what is considered acceptable to motivate suicide – has been advocated as a key step in understanding and preventing development of suicidal behaviors. There have been limited systematic empirical attempts to establish different cultural motives ascribed to suicide across ethnic groups. Method We used a mixed methods approach and grounded theory methodology to guide the analysis of qualitative data querying for meanings via motives for suicide among 232 Caucasians, Asian Americans, and Latino/a Americans with a history of suicide attempts, ideation, intent, or plan. We used subsequent logistic regression analyses to examine ethnic differences in suicide motive themes. Results This inductive approach of generating theory from data yielded an empirical model of 6 cultural meanings via motives for suicide themes: intrapersonal perceptions, intrapersonal emotions, intrapersonal behavior, interpersonal, mental health/medical, and external environment. Logistic regressions showed ethnic differences in intrapersonal perceptions (low endorsement by Latino/a Americans) and external environment (high endorsement by Latino/a Americans) categories. Conclusion Results advance suicide research and practice by establishing 6 empirically based cultural motives for suicide themes that may represent a key intermediary step in the pathway toward suicidal behaviors. Clinicians can use these suicide meanings via motives to guide their assessment and determination of suicide risk. Emphasis on environmental stressors rather than negative perceptions like hopelessness should be considered with Latino/a clients.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22425

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