Correlates of Alaska Native fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors 1990-2001
Publication: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Topics: Ethnicity Gender State Suicide Urban/Rural
Keywords: Adult Alaskan Male Mental Services Substance Abuse
Bibliographic information +
Native Alaskans, like many indigenous peoples, are at high risk of both fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviors. For example, the age-adjusted rate of suicide among Alaska natives was 38.5 over the time period 1999-2004, twice that of Alaskans and three times that of the nation over the same period. In this article, the authors explore situational factors associated with fatal and non-fatal suicidal acts among northern Alaskans (primarily Inupiats) over the time period 1990-2001 using data collected on all suicidal acts by Tribal Health Organization mental health clinicians. The joint characteristics of those who engaged in suicidal behavior (fatal and non-fatal) were compared to the population characteristics of northern Alaskans. Those engaging in suicidal behavior were more likely to be between the ages of 15 and 34, Native Alaskans, single, unemployed and to have less than a high school education. Characteristics of suicide decedents were also compared to those of suicide attempters. In controlled analyses, those who completed suicide were more likely than attempters to be male, to have used a gun and to have a history of substance abuse. Those who completed suicide and those who attempted but did not die were equally likely to have a family history of suicide and to have received any mental health services prior to their attempts (50% had no history of mental health treatment).
Wexler, L., Hill, R., Bertone-Johnson, E., & Fenaughty, A. (2008). Correlates of Alaska Native fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviors 1990-2001. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 38(3), 311-320.
Wexler, L., et al. "Correlates of Alaska Native Fatal and Nonfatal Suicidal Behaviors 1990-2001." Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 38.3 (2008): 311-20.