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Protecting Urban American Indian Young People From Suicide

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Objective : To examine the likelihood of a past suicide attempt for urban American Indian boys and girls, given salient risk and protective factors.

Methods : Survey data from 569 urban American Indian, ages 9-15, in-school youths. Logistic regression determined probabilities of past suicide attempts.

Results : For girls, suicidal histories were associated with substance use (risk) and positive mood (protective); probabilities ranged from 6.0% to 57.0%. For boys, probabilities for models with violence perpetration (risk), parent prosocial behavior norms (protective), and positive mood (protective) ranged from 1.0% to 38.0%.

Conclusions : Highlights the value of assessing both risk and protective factors for suicidal vulnerability and prioritizing prevention strategies.

Keywords: American Indian; suicide; urban; young people

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Research Associate, Center for Adolescent Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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