Theses Doctoral

Social Connectedness, Self-esteem, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicide Attempts among Latina/o Adolescents in the United States

Velez-Grau, Carolina

The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate interpersonal and sociocultural factors associated with suicide ideation and attempts among Latinx adolescents. In this dissertation, the term Latinx is used to include gender non-conforming youth. Latina/o or Latinx refer to adolescents of Latin American origin who speak Spanish. Hispanics are those with Spanish language heritage including countries such as Spain that are not in Latin America. Thus, the terms Latino/a and Latinx captured best the ethnic group represented in this dissertation.

This dissertation is composed of three papers. Paper one (#1) examines the association between social connectedness, in the family and school domains, self-esteem, and suicidal ideation among Latinx adolescents. This paper provides context for the second and third papers. Paper two (#2) examines whether immigration generational status moderates the relationship between social connectedness, self-esteem, and suicidal ideation among this group of adolescents. Paper three (#3) focuses on only those adolescents who have reported histories of suicidal ideation in the previous year and examines prospectively the degree to which social connectedness and self-esteem are associated with the transition from suicidal ideation to attempt a year later. This dissertation is guided by the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS) and the Sociocultural Model of Suicide. The IPTS provides the constructs to understand who is at risk for suicidal ideation and the Sociocultural Model of Suicide provides the cultural lenses through which these constructs are examined. Dr. Thomas Joiner, the developer of IPTS (personal communication, April 18,2019) confirmed that the variables selected in this study captured the IPTS constructs of social connectedness and self-esteem, the latter a dimension of burdensomeness.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Witte, Susan S.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 9, 2019