Document Type



Final Published Version

Publication Title

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice



Publication Date



This article describes the means, intent, lethality, behavioral profiles, and psychiatric diagnoses of adolescent Latina suicide attempters. From a large, mixed-method project studying the sociocultural processes of Latina suicide attempts, we selected 76 participants for this report. In addition to quantitative research data, medical records were available for all 76 participants, as was qualitative data from in-depth interviews for 34 of them. Using the qualitative and quantitative research data, we explored intent and behavioral profiles of the suicidal adolescents. Medical records provided additional information about the means the adolescents used in their attempts, and about their psychiatric diagnoses. The lethality of suicide attempts was coded using the Lethality of Suicide Attempt Rating Scale (LSARS) and the Lethality of Suicide Attempt Rating Scale—Updated (LSARS-II). Findings showed that Latina adolescent suicide attempts are low in lethality. Consistent with the literature, most adolescents reported that they attempted by using means available in their homes (cutting and overdosing with medications were the predominant methods). Interesting discrepancies emerged when comparing adolescents’ self-reported behavioral profiles with clinicians’ psychiatric diagnoses. This report has implications for diagnosis and treatment approaches for both inpatient and outpatient service providers.


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