ACCULTURATION AND SUICIDE ATTITUDES: A STUDY OF PERCEPTIONS ABOUT SUICIDE AMONG A SAMPLE OF GHANAIAN IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES1

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Abstract

To investigate whether a relationship exists between acculturation and attitudes about suicide, 81 Ghanaian immigrants living in the U.S. who responded to a mail inquiry were selected to participate in the current study. This particular immigrant sample was chosen because although they represent a rapidly growing group in the U.S., they have been rarely studied. Respondents consisted of 42 women and 36 men (3 did not identify their sex), with a mean age of 29.5 yr. (SD = 10.6). Participants completed measures of acculturation and attitudes about suicide. Results indicated significant correlations between length of residency in the United States and negative suicide attitudes, and also between psychological acculturation and negative suicide attitudes. No significant relationship was found between behavioral acculturation and suicide attitudes. Furthermore, length of residency was a stronger predictor of suicide attitudes than other subjective measures of acculturation. Implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.

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