CitationZamora-Kapoor, Anna; Nelson, Lonnie; Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina; Comtois, Katherine; Walker, Leslie; & Buchwald, Dedra (2015). What explains suicidal ideation in American Indian/Alaska Native and White adolescents? The role of overweight, imitation, and isolation. American Public Health Association 143rd Annual Meeting and Exposition. Chicago, IL.
AbstractObjective: Analyze the role of overweight, imitation, and isolation in the suicidal ideation of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) and White adolescents aged 11-20.
Study design: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add health) was used to compare the relative significance of overweight, imitation, and isolation in the suicidal ideation of AI/AN and White adolescents, controlling for demographic covariates. Path analysis was used to estimate mediation between the exposures of interest and suicidal ideation, and examine their variability by race.
Results: Overweight, imitation, and isolation were statistically significant risk factors for suicidal ideation in AI/AN and White adolescents. Exposure to suicide through friends tripled the odds of suicidal ideation, while exposure to suicide through family doubled them. Feeling socially excluded also doubled the odds of suicidal ideation. Not feeling part of the school and overweight increased the likelihood of suicidal ideation, but to a lesser extent than the other variables. Path analyses showed that isolation mediated the associations between overweight, imitation and suicidal ideation for Whites, but not for AI/ANs.
Conclusion: Overweight, imitation, and isolation are risk factors for suicidal ideation in AI/AN and White adolescents. However, the associations between these variables vary by race. Future interventions need to take into consideration the existence or absence of mediation between risk factors and suicidal ideation to prevent adolescent suicide in AI/AN and White youth.
Implications: Efforts to reduce adolescent overweight and isolation are expected to contribute to current strategies to prevent suicide in AI/AN and White youth.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book TitleAmerican Public Health Association 143rd Annual Meeting and Exposition