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Attitudes and Perceptions of Suicide and Suicide Prevention Messages for Asian Americans

Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10031, USA
Richard Oaks Counseling Center, Richardson, TX 75081, USA
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA
Family and Child Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: John Coverdale
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 547-564;
Received: 23 June 2015 / Revised: 30 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Behavior)
PDF [503 KB, uploaded 4 December 2015]


Understanding the context of suicidal behaviors is critical for effective suicide prevention strategies. Although suicide is an important topic for Asian Americans, there is limited information about what Asian Americans’ attitudes are towards suicide and their perceptions about the effectiveness of prevention efforts. These questions are critical to examine to provide foundational knowledge for determining how best to intervene. In this study, Asian American (n = 87) and White (n = 87) participants completed self-report indexes on their knowledge of depression and suicide (e.g., estimates of suicide rates), coping attitudes (e.g., help-seeking) and suicide prevention attitudes (e.g., usefulness of PSAs). The results indicate that in comparison to Whites, Asian Americans perceived suicidal behavior to be more common, perceived a stronger link between depression and suicide, less frequently endorsed help-seeking strategies, and reported more concern or distress after viewing a suicide prevention PSA. These preliminary results also suggest the possibility of cultural differences in perceptions of suicide prevention messages. The implications of these findings are discussed with a focus on providing recommendations for exploring suicide prevention efforts for Asian Americans. View Full-Text
Keywords: Asian American (AA); suicide prevention; public service announcements Asian American (AA); suicide prevention; public service announcements
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Thapa, P.; Sung, Y.; Klingbeil, D.A.; Lee, C.-Y.S.; Klimes-Dougan, B. Attitudes and Perceptions of Suicide and Suicide Prevention Messages for Asian Americans. Behav. Sci. 2015, 5, 547-564.

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