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Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: the protective role of family relationships and social support.
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2005 Mar; 40(3):175-85.SP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Suicide and suicide attempts are important public health concerns, and recent decades have witnessed a rising rate of suicide among African Americans. A history of prior attempts is a leading risk factor for completed suicide. Further research is needed into the social environment risk factors for suicide attempt among African Americans. This study focused on two important dimensions of the social environment, family relationships and social support, as well as an important person-level risk factor--depressive symptoms.

METHOD

Data were obtained from a case-control study of 200 African American men and women aged 18-64 years, who sought services at a large, urban, public hospital. Odds ratios adjusted for significant sociodemographic differences between groups (aORs) were calculated for environment risk factors for suicide attempt among the cases and controls. The role of depressive symptoms was also studied.

RESULTS

Lower levels of family adaptability and family cohesion increased the relative rate of suicide attempt in the sample. The aOR associated with the lowest quartile of family adaptability was 3.90, and the aORs associated with the first and second quartiles of family cohesion were 8.91 and 5.51, respectively. Lower levels of social embeddedness and social support increased the relative rate of suicide attempt in our sample. The aOR associated with the first and second quartiles of social embeddedness were 5.67 and 4.93, respectively, and the aOR associated with the lowest quartile of social support was 6.29. A mediating role of depression was discovered when depressive symptoms were entered into the logistic regression models.

CONCLUSIONS

Our findings indicate that social environment factors including deficits in family functioning and social support are associated strongly with suicide attempts among low-income African American men and women seeking treatment in a large, urban hospital. Thus, better family functioning and social supports can be considered protective factors in this population. The presence of depressive symptoms, a well-known risk factor for suicide attempts and suicide, appears to mediate the association between social environment factors and suicide attempt.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Emory University School of Medicine, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Atlanta GA 30303, USA. mcompto@emory.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15742221

Citation

Compton, Michael T., et al. "Social Environment Factors Associated With Suicide Attempt Among Low-income African Americans: the Protective Role of Family Relationships and Social Support." Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 175-85.
Compton MT, Thompson NJ, Kaslow NJ. Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: the protective role of family relationships and social support. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2005;40(3):175-85.
Compton, M. T., Thompson, N. J., & Kaslow, N. J. (2005). Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: the protective role of family relationships and social support. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 40(3), 175-85.
Compton MT, Thompson NJ, Kaslow NJ. Social Environment Factors Associated With Suicide Attempt Among Low-income African Americans: the Protective Role of Family Relationships and Social Support. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2005;40(3):175-85. PubMed PMID: 15742221.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: the protective role of family relationships and social support. AU - Compton,Michael T, AU - Thompson,Nancy J, AU - Kaslow,Nadine J, PY - 2004/08/25/accepted PY - 2005/3/3/pubmed PY - 2005/5/20/medline PY - 2005/3/3/entrez SP - 175 EP - 85 JF - Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology JO - Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol VL - 40 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Suicide and suicide attempts are important public health concerns, and recent decades have witnessed a rising rate of suicide among African Americans. A history of prior attempts is a leading risk factor for completed suicide. Further research is needed into the social environment risk factors for suicide attempt among African Americans. This study focused on two important dimensions of the social environment, family relationships and social support, as well as an important person-level risk factor--depressive symptoms. METHOD: Data were obtained from a case-control study of 200 African American men and women aged 18-64 years, who sought services at a large, urban, public hospital. Odds ratios adjusted for significant sociodemographic differences between groups (aORs) were calculated for environment risk factors for suicide attempt among the cases and controls. The role of depressive symptoms was also studied. RESULTS: Lower levels of family adaptability and family cohesion increased the relative rate of suicide attempt in the sample. The aOR associated with the lowest quartile of family adaptability was 3.90, and the aORs associated with the first and second quartiles of family cohesion were 8.91 and 5.51, respectively. Lower levels of social embeddedness and social support increased the relative rate of suicide attempt in our sample. The aOR associated with the first and second quartiles of social embeddedness were 5.67 and 4.93, respectively, and the aOR associated with the lowest quartile of social support was 6.29. A mediating role of depression was discovered when depressive symptoms were entered into the logistic regression models. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that social environment factors including deficits in family functioning and social support are associated strongly with suicide attempts among low-income African American men and women seeking treatment in a large, urban hospital. Thus, better family functioning and social supports can be considered protective factors in this population. The presence of depressive symptoms, a well-known risk factor for suicide attempts and suicide, appears to mediate the association between social environment factors and suicide attempt. SN - 0933-7954 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15742221/Social_environment_factors_associated_with_suicide_attempt_among_low_income_African_Americans:_the_protective_role_of_family_relationships_and_social_support_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-005-0865-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -