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Risk Factors for Suicide Attempts Among African American Women Experiencing Recent Intimate Partner Violence

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The purposes of this study were to identify risk factors for suicide attempts among 200 African American abused women (100 attempters, 100 nonattempters) and to test a cumulative risk model to determine if a woman's likelihood of making a suicide attempt increased as the number of risk factors increased. Results revealed that attempters were significantly more likely than nonattempters to report high levels of depressive symptoms, hopelessness, drug abuse, and childhood abuse and neglect. Results from the cumulative risk model revealed a linear association between the number of risk factors and the odds of making a suicide attempt. Compared to women with no risk factors, women with two risk factors, women with three risk factors, and women with four to five risk factors were 10, 25, and 107 times, respectively, more likely to attempt suicide. The identification of risk variables highlights the importance of designing interventions to address these factors in order to reduce the risk of suicidal behavior in abused, African American women.
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Keywords: ABUSE; AFRICAN AMERICAN; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; SUICIDE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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