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Suicide in Asian Americans
Date:8/17/2008

Asian Americans whose families experience a high degree of interpersonal conflict have a three-fold greater risk of attempting suicide when compared with Asian Americans overall, according to a new study by University of California, Davis, researchers. The risk is tripled even among those who have never had a diagnosis of depression.

The findings will be reported during a 2 p.m. (EDT) poster session, "Improving Our Practice -- Focus on Ethnic Psychology," on Sunday, Aug. 17, at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Boston.

"Because of the great emphasis on harmony and family integration in many Asian cultures, family conflict is an important factor to consider when studying suicidal behaviors among Asian Americans," said Stanley Sue, a professor of psychology and Asian American studies at UC Davis and one of the study's authors. "Our study suggests that we need to more precisely determine the kinds of family conflicts that are associated with suicide risk among Asian Americans, and find means of preventing these family problems."

Sue's study is a new analysis of data from the 2002-2003 National Latino and Asian American Study, the largest nationally representative survey ever conducted of Asian Americans. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the landmark survey involved in-person interviews with more than 2,000 Asian Americans nationwide. Subjects were asked about income, marital status, age at time of immigration or number of generations their families have been in the United States, English language proficiency, family conflict, and suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, among other questions, yielding a wealth of raw data for researchers to examine for insights into Asian American mental health.

In the national survey, 2.7 percent of the Asian Americans interviewed reported having attempted suicide at some point during their lives; 9.1 percent of the total group reported having
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Contact: Claudia Morain
cmmorain@ucdavis.edu
530-752-9841
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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