Suicidal Thoughts: A Matter of Integration and Personal Stressors




Reyna, Joshua Anthony

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Although those who take their lives represent a much smaller percentage of people who attempt suicide, the number of people who have active thoughts and/or plan out their deaths is much higher. Unsurprisingly, little has been done to curb the rising amounts of suicide and, in turn, those living with thoughts of suicide over the years. Much of the research on suicide indicates that the process of ending one's life is a complicated web of factors that is largely concentrated in certain demographic groups within the US. In contrast, other groups are not as affected. From the seminal work of Emile Durkheim, many researchers would agree that social interactions are one of the most important factors that decrease the risk of thinking about suicide. The overall goal of this dissertation research is to use secondary data to examine the risk of thinking about suicide among various demographic subgroups in the US. Negative binomial regression models are used to estimate the impact of indicators of social support on the likelihood of suicide among samples of the general population, LGTBQ+ individuals, and veteran individuals. This study also examines the associations between the frequency and quality of social networks on the potential risk of thinking about suicide in the US. A major conclusion of the dissertation is that various groups within the United States are at differential risk of thinking about suicide. The likelihood of suicidal thoughts appears to be moderated by familial and friend-based support. Further, meaningful and more contact with friends and family is likely to lessen the prevalence of suicidal thoughts.



LGBTQ+, Race, Sex, Social Support, Thoughts of Suicide, Veterans



Applied Demography