The relationship between familism and suicide attempts among Latina adolescents: Prevention and intervention efforts
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Latina adolescents have the highest rates of suicidal behavior among ethnic and racial minority youth in the United States. The Latino population represents the largest minority group in the United States; thus, this is an important issue to address. Familism, a value central to the Latino culture, emphasizes the centrality of the family as a primary unit, in contrast to Western tradition that places the individual at the core. During adolescent development, Latinas may struggle with balancing their families' needs with their own needs for autonomy, creating a conflict between Latina adolescents and their families. A better understanding of familial factors that predict and protect against suicidal behaviors among Latina adolescents is necessary to identify alterable factors and develop culturally responsive prevention and intervention approaches. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between familism and suicide attempts among Latina youth through an examination of the existing literature. Preventative strategies and interventions to address suicidal behavior for Latina youth will also be discussed.