Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Mark Whisman, PhD

Second Advisor

Albert Kim, PhD

Third Advisor

Alexander Fobes, PhD

Abstract

Different forms of immigration stressors, cultural characteristics, and social factors can influence family cohesion and conflict, which in turn can impact the likelihood of suicidality in the Latinx population. The aims of the present study were to (a) examine differences in rates of suicidal outcomes (i.e., suicidal ideation, plan, attempt) between four groups of Latinxs (Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and other Latinx); and (b) evaluate the association between family cohesion and conflict and suicidal outcomes. Participants were drawn from the 2004 National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS; Alegria et al., 2004), a probability sample of Latinxs living in the United States (N = 2,546). The prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt was 2.1% , 0.5%, and 0.2%, respectively. Family cohesion was significantly and negatively associated with suicidal ideation and suicide plan whereas family conflict was significantly and positively associated with suicidal ideation and suicide plan; the prevalence of suicide attempt was too low to examine its association with family cohesion and conflict. When family conflict and family cohesion were examined in the same models, family conflict was uniquely associated with suicidal ideation and suicide plan whereas family cohesion was not. These results support continued research on the association between family functioning and mental health in Latinxs, and suggest that family interventions may be beneficial for families with a suicidal family member.

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