Lay theories of suicide: An examination of culturally-relevant suicide beliefs and attributions
Walker, Rheeda L.; Lester, David; Joe, Sean
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The purpose of this study was to examine African Americans' lay beliefs and attributions toward suicide. The Attitudes Toward Suicide Scale, Life Ownership Orientation Questionnaire, Stigma Questionnaire, and Suicide Ideation Questionnaire were administered to 251 undergraduate college students. Beliefs about stigma associated with suicide were comparable across ethnic groups. However, African American college students were significantly less likely than European American college students were to attribute suicide to interpersonal problems and to report that the individual or government is responsible for life. African American students were significantly more likely to report that God is responsible for life. These findings have important implications for suicide risk and also for developing culturally appropriate interventions.