Why do so many Latina teens attempt suicide? A conceptual model for research

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Culture; Family; Female; Hispanic Americans; Humans; *Psychological Theory; Social Environment; Suicide, Attempted


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Rates of suicide attempts among adolescent Latinas have been reported to be higher than for their non-Hispanic counterparts. Yet researchers know very little about the attempts, their antecedents, and why the girls attempt suicide. Latina girls have been included in research on suicidal adolescents and typically show higher rates of attempts relative to similar psychopathology when compared with other young women. A few small studies have focused on Latinas, but none have explored why suicide attempt rates are higher. The authors constructed a conceptual model to provide a formulation of this phenomenon on the basis of a review of the literature on suicide attempts among Latinas and their clinical experience. This model can serve as a framework to guide research on the unique sociocultural processes present in Latina adolescent suicide attempts and may also benefit the work of clinicians.

DOI of Published Version



Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2005 Apr;75(2):275-87. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of orthopsychiatry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID