Why Do So Many Latina Teens Attempt Suicide? A Conceptual Model for Research

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Rates of suicide attempts among adolescent Latinas have been reported to be higher than for their non-Hispanic counterparts. Yet researchers know very little about the attempts, their antecedents, and why the girls attempt suicide. Latina girls have been included in research on suicidal adolescents and typically show higher rates of attempts relative to similar psychopathology when compared with other young women. A few small studies have focused on Latinas, but none have explored why suicide attempt rates are higher. The authors constructed a conceptual model to provide a formulation of this phenomenon on the basis of a review of the literature on suicide attempts among Latinas and their clinical experience. This model can serve as a framework to guide research on the unique sociocultural processes present in Latina adolescent suicide attempts and may also benefit the work of clinicians.

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