The Association Between Gender, Ethnicity, and Suicidality Among Vocational Students in Israel

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Abstract

Gender and ethnicity are significant factors when evaluating suicidal risk, especially among ethnically diverse populations. In the current study we explored the association between gender, ethnicity, and suicide ideation and attempts among Arab and Jewish vocational education and training high school students in Israel. Students (N = 3,554) completed a self-report survey evaluating suicide ideation and attempts, depression, anxiety, somatization, and sense of belonging. Hierarchical generalized linear modeling indicated that female Arab adolescents had elevated levels of suicide ideation, higher rates of suicide attempts, and greater psychological distress than Arab males and Jewish students. Furthermore, female Arab adolescents were found to be more susceptible to suicide ideation when depression levels were high. These results are discussed in the context of the double-jeopardy Arab young women face, as members of a minority ethnic group in Israel and their status as women within the patriarchal Arab culture.

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