The Influence of Perceived Stress and Depression on Suicide-Related Beliefs in Caucasian and Indian Adults
Background and Aims: Suicidality research in developing countries, including India, faces logistical and cultural challenges. Technology may help address these challenges and offer data to providers treating a diverse clientele. Method: The relationship between perceived stress and suicide-related beliefs was examined in two populations: Indians in India (n = 374) and Caucasians in English-speaking countries (n = 326); the influence of depression on that relationship was also explored. The study was conducted via an Internet-based survey. Results: Three-way interactions (Ethnicity × Perceived stress × Depression status) were observed, predicting strength of the belief that suicide is a solution to problems, F(1,679) = 4.18, p < .05, and that suicide is a good option if quality of life worsens, F(1,675) = 9.53, p < .01. For both beliefs, Caucasians screening positive for depression exhibited the strongest relationship between stress and suicide-related beliefs; for Indians, that relationship was not moderated by depression status. Caucasians also exhibited a stronger association between higher stress and greater belief strength that suicide is a good option assuming a steady quality of life than did Indians, F(1,680) = 6.05, p < .05. Limitations: Participants were recruited through a depression screening website; results may not generalize to those who are uninterested in depression screening or to those who are unwilling or unable to use the internet for that purpose. Conclusion: Our findings may help to better target interventions to reduce suicidality, for example, employ stress reduction techniques for Caucasians who are depressed, and monitor suicidality for Indians reporting high stress regardless of depression.