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01-11-2011 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 11/2011

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2011

Predictors of Asian American Adolescents’ Suicide Attempts: A Latent Class Regression Analysis

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 11/2011
Y. Joel Wong, Cara S. Maffini


Although suicide-related outcomes among Asian American adolescents are a serious public health problem in the United States, research in this area has been relatively sparse. To address this gap in the empirical literature, this study examined subgroups of Asian American adolescents for whom family, school, and peer relationships exerted differential effects on suicide attempts. Data were drawn from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health dataset and included responses from a national sample of 959 Asian American adolescents (48.0% girls; average age at Wave 2 = 16.43). A latent class regression was used to assess the optimal number of latent classes (i.e., subgroups of participants) that explained the associations between family, school, and peer relationships and subsequent suicide attempts. Three latent classes were identified. Most participants belonged to a latent class in which family, school, and peer relationships were protective factors. However, stronger school relationships and peer relationships were found to be risk factors in two other latent classes. The three latent classes also differed significantly in terms of suicide attempts, gender, and acculturation. The practical implications of this study, particularly for educators and mental health professionals, are discussed.

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