Factors associated with Alaska Native fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors 2001-2009: trends and implications for prevention

Arch Suicide Res. 2012;16(4):273-86. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2013.722051.


Suicide rates among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people are significantly higher than other ethnic groups in the United States. Not only are there great differences when comparing AI/AN rates and those of other Americans, some tribal groups have very low rates of suicide while other Native communities have much higher rates. Despite this obvious variability, there is little research to help understand the factors associated with these differences. The current study considers the correlates of suicidal behavior in one rural Alaska Native region that suffers disproportionately from suicide. The analysis describes suicide behavior between the years 2001-2009, and considers the characteristics associated with both suicide deaths and nonfatal suicidal behavior. In multivariate analyses we identified gender, method of suicide and history of previous attempt as significant predictors of fatal suicide behavior, similar to results obtained from analyses on the same community's data from the previous decade. This descriptive study can offer some insights to shape prevention efforts in this and other rural, tribal communities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Community Mental Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology
  • Mental Health / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Suicide / ethnology*
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Suicide, Attempted / ethnology
  • Suicide, Attempted / prevention & control
  • Young Adult