Exploring Risk and Protective Factors with a Community Sample of American Indian Adolescents Who Attempted Suicide

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American Indian adolescents are at disproportionate risk for suicide, and community-based studies of this population, which allow a deeper understanding of risks and resilience to inform interventions, are rare. This is a cross-sectional study of N = 71 Apache adolescents. Strengths include the role of the community and American Indian paraprofessionals in the design, implementation, and interpretation of findings. Participants were M = 16.0 years old, 65% female, and 69% multiple attempters. Risks included suicidal behavior among peers and family (68%), caregivers with substance problems (62%), and participant substance use history, namely alcohol (91%) and marijuana (88%). Areas of resiliency included lower depression scores (M = 23.1) and cultural activity participation. A multi-tiered intervention at individual, family, and community levels is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-189
Number of pages18
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2015



  • adolescence
  • American Indian
  • community-based
  • suicide attempts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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