Year: 2019 Source: Journal of Family Violence. (2018) 33(1), 53-64. SIEC No: 20190697

There is a significant association between childhood abuse and suicidal behavior in low-income African American women with a recent suicide attempt. Increasingly, empirical focus is shifting toward including suicide resilience, which mitigates against suicidal behavior. This cross-sectional study examines childhood abuse, intrapersonal strengths, and suicide resilience in 121 African American women, average age of 36.07 years (SD = 11.03) with recent exposure to intimate partner violence and a suicide attempt. To address the hypothesis that childhood abuse will be negatively related to suicide resilience and that this effect will be mediated by intrapersonal strengths that serve as protective factors, structural equation modeling examined the relations among three latent variables: childhood abuse (measured via physical, sexual, and emotional abuse), intrapersonal strengths (assessed by self-efficacy and spiritual well-being), and suicide resilience (operationalized via the three components of suicide resilience—internal protective, external protective, and emotional stability). The initial measurement model and the structural model both indicated excellent fit. Results indicated that childhood abuse was negatively associated with intrapersonal strengths and suicide resilience, intrapersonal strengths were positively associated with suicide resilience, and intrapersonal strengths fully mediated the association between childhood abuse and suicide resilience. Thus, the results suggest a positive and protective influence of intrapersonal strengths on suicide resilience in the face of childhood abuse in suicidal African American women. The clinical implications and directions for future research that emerge from these findings are discussed.