Original Paper

The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 99-110

First online:

Association Between School Engagement and Disclosure of Suicidal Ideation to Adults Among Latino Adolescents

  • Susan M. De LucaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester Medical Center Email author 
  • , Peter A. WymanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester Medical Center

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Abstract

We examined associations between Latino adolescents’ school engagement and their likelihood of disclosing suicidal ideation (SI) to adults and of asking for help for SI. A first set of analyses was conducted on a total sample of 14 high schools, and a second set of analyses was conducted on 8 “Latino-representative” high schools. The criterion for Latino representation was that ≥10 % of the school’s total student population was Latino. Across all 14 high schools, 17 % (110/663) of Latino students reported SI in the past year, compared to 13 % (359/2,740) of non-Hispanic White students and 11 % (78/719) of African American students. Of Latino students with SI, 24 % (26/110) told an adult and 35 % (38/110) sought help. In the 8 Latino-representative schools, higher levels of reported school engagement were associated with a greater likelihood of seeking help (OR = 6.17) and disclosure of SI to an adult (OR = 7.64) for Latino males. For Latinas, however, school engagement was not associated with either disclosure of SI to an adult or seeking help. Additional research is needed to clarify the processes, including social connectedness, that contribute to the disclosure of and help-seeking for SI among Latino adolescents.

Keywords

Latino Adolescents Suicidal ideation School engagement