Suicide Resilience among African American Women

June 26, 2020
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark Research

Interpersonal strengths, like self-efficacy and spiritual well-being, have a protective influence on suicide-related outcomes for African American women exposed to childhood abuse.

Suicide resilience is a set of factors that protect an individual from engaging in suicide-related behaviors. In the current study, researchers explored the relationship between suicide resilience, childhood abuse, and interpersonal strength in 121 African American women who reported a suicide attempt and exposure to intimate partner violence in the past year.

Childhood abuse was negatively associated with interpersonal strength and suicide resilience. Interpersonal strengths, like self-efficacy and spiritual well-being, were positively associated with suicide resilience. Interpersonal strengths were a better positive predictor of suicide resilience than childhood abuse was a negative predictor of suicide resilience. When interpersonal strengths were accounted for, the relationship between suicide resilience and childhood abuse was no longer significant.

With a strengths-based approach to understanding suicide, this study suggests culturally informed, positive psychology interventions are likely to foster enhanced suicide resilience among African American women at risk for suicide.

Kapoor, S., Domingue, H. K., Watson-Singleton, N. N., Are, F., Elmore, C. A., Crooks, C. L., Madden, A., Mack, S. A., Peifer, J. S., & Kaslow, N. J. (2018). Childhood abuse, interpersonal strength, and suicide resilience in African American females who attempted suicide. Journal of Family Violence, 33, 53–64.