Evaluating the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide among Latina adolescents using qualitative comparative analysis

Lauren E. Gulbas, Carolina Hausmann-Stabile, Hannah S. Szlyk, Luis H. Zayas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide (IPTS) has emerged as an empirically supported theory of suicide risk, yet few studies have used IPTS to examine the suicidal behaviors of Latina adolescents. In this study, we explore the cultural and developmental appropriateness, as well as the explanatory fit, of IPTS within a sample of Latina adolescents. Data for this project were drawn from qualitative interviews conducted with Latina adolescents with (n = 30) and without (n = 30) histories of attempted suicide. We employed a deductive qualitative approach to define and compare core constructs of IPTS (perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and acquired capability), and then use qualitative comparative analysis to evaluate how core constructs were linked with the occurrence of a suicide attempt. Consistent with IPTS, perceived burdensomeness, thwarted belongingness, and acquired capability were present in 20 of the 30 adolescents who had attempted suicide, and absent in 22 of the 30 adolescents with no lifetime history of suicidal behaviors. Notably, alternative combinations of IPTS constructs were found in 10 cases of adolescents who attempted suicide, suggesting a need to adjust IPTS to fit the developmental and cultural contexts of Latina teens. Although our results suggest predominantly positive support for IPTS, participants varied in terms of how their experiences resonated with the conceptual definitions put forward by the theory. Ultimately, our findings point to the ways in which developmental tensions are exacerbated by broader sociocultural dynamics, contributing to a broader understanding of suicide risk among ethnic minority adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-311
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Psychology
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

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Psychological Theory
Hispanic Americans
Suicide
Attempted Suicide
Adolescent Behavior

Keywords

  • Acquired capability
  • Latina adolescents
  • Perceived burdensomeness
  • Suicide risk
  • Thwarted belongingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Evaluating the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide among Latina adolescents using qualitative comparative analysis. / Gulbas, Lauren E.; Hausmann-Stabile, Carolina; Szlyk, Hannah S.; Zayas, Luis H.

In: Qualitative Psychology, Vol. 6, No. 3, 10.2019, p. 297-311.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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