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Arch Suicide Res. 2006;10(2):177-90.

Suicidal ideation among American Indian youths.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-1157, USA.


This study examined correlates of suicidal ideation among 212 American Indian youth who lived on or near three reservations in the upper Midwestern United States. The youths were, on average, 12 years old, and 9.5% reported current thoughts about killing themselves. Females were over 2 times more likely than males to think about suicide. Multivariate logistic regression results indicated that gender, enculturation, negative life events, perceived discrimination, self-esteem, and drug use were related to the likelihood of thinking about suicide. Drug use was the strongest correlate of suicidal ideation, and both enculturation and perceived discrimination emerged as important culturally specific variables. It was suggested that suicide prevention programs should draw on the strengths of American Indian culture.

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