Factors associated with suicide ideation among American Indian adolescents: does culture matter?

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1999 Winter;29(4):332-46.


Data from self-report surveys of 1,353 high school students representing three culturally distinct American Indian tribes were analyzed for tribal differences in factors associated with suicidal ideation. In the multivariate analysis, no single correlate of suicide ideation was common to all three tribes. The correlates of suicide ideation were consistent with each tribe's social structure, conceptualization of individual and gender roles, support systems, and conceptualization of death. These results underscore the heterogeneity of suicide ideation across three distinct American Indian tribes consistent with their cultural heterogeneity. Suicide prevention and screening programs may be difficult to adapt from one tribe to another.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • United States