Perceptions of suicide risk and coping in Latino and White adolescents and young adults: a pilot study informing suicide prevention efforts

Carolyn Garcia, David A Klingbeil, Kristina Reigstad, Alaa Houri, Chih-Yuan S Lee, Yoonhee Sung, Emma Hamilton, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the United States (U.S.), Latino adolescents and young adults are among the ethnic groups with the highest depression and suicide attempts. It is important to understand the perceptions of mental illness among Latino youth in the U.S. to appropriately intervene. The purpose of this pilot study (N = 84) was to explore adolescents' and young adults' perceptions of suicide risk and coping strategies to examine differences in perceptions between two ethnically diverse groups. Latino participants and a matched group of White respondents completed a suicide awareness questionnaire assessing perceptions of suicide risk as well as items relevant to coping - including help-seeking, maladaptive coping and suicide normalization. The groups reported generally congruent perceptions of suicide risk and coping. There were a few intriguing differences between Latinos and Whites. Latinos were less likely to seek out advice from a friend for another suicidal friend and to characterize those who die by suicide as mentally ill. These data provide potentially important insights into perceptions of suicide among members of the Latino community and point to the need for further research on additional issues of relevance (e.g., including religious affiliation and immigrant status) to address the pressing need for culturally tailored suicide prevention approaches. Keywords: Latino, adolescent, suicide perceptions, suicide prevention, mental health, coping Language: En
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
JournalSuicidology online [electronic resource]
StatePublished - 2012


  • 0
  • adolescent
  • age in the
  • and 24 years of
  • author
  • coping
  • copyrights belong to the
  • creative commons licence 3
  • for youth between 10
  • is a peer-reviewed open-access
  • journal publishing under the
  • latino
  • leading cause of death
  • mental health
  • s
  • sol
  • suicide is the third
  • suicide perceptions
  • suicide prevention
  • suicidology online


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