Examining the interplay among family, culture, and latina teen suicidal behavior.Qual Health Res. 2015 May; 25(5):689-99.QH
In this article, we explore the relationships among culture, family, and attempted suicide by U.S. Latinas. We analyzed qualitative interviews conducted with Latina teen suicide attempters (n = 10) and their parents. We also incorporated data collected from adolescents with no reported history of self-harm (n = 10) and their parents to examine why some individuals turned to suicide under similar experiences of cultural conflict. Our results reveal that Latina teens who attempted suicide lacked the resources to forge meaningful social ties. Without the tools to bridge experiences of cultural contradiction, the girls in our study described feeling isolated and alone. Under such conditions, adolescents turned to behaviors aimed at self-destruction. Unlike their peers who attempted suicide, adolescent Latinas with no lifetime history of attempted suicide were able to mobilize resources in ways that balanced experiences of acculturative tension by creating supportive relationships with other individuals.