Year: 2017 Source: Crisis.(2016).37(5):335-346. DOI: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000396 SIEC No: 20170028

New Zealand has the second highest youth suicide rate in the OECD and particularly among Pacific New Zealanders, who have a threefold higher risk of suicide attempt compared with the general population. Aims: Protective and risk factors for suicide attempts among New Zealand Pacific adolescents were assessed using data from Youth’12, an adolescent health and well-being survey. Method: This randomly selected nationally representative sample of New Zealand secondary school students included 1,445 Pacific high school students aged 12–17 years. Results: One in 10 (11.6%) Pacific adolescents reported attempting suicide. Risk factors for suicide included: being female, household food insecurity, low levels of family connections and family monitoring, life dissatisfaction, having a religious affiliation, and previous suicide by a family member or friend. Of those who had made a suicide attempt, 71% also experienced both suicide ideation and self-harm. Conclusion: This study suggests that given the high rates of suicide ideation and attempts among Pacific young people, targeted trials for new ways of support should be prioritized for this high-risk group. The Pacific family environment, which continues to be the critical space for intervening, and the school environment, as a provider of health services, were both protective of suicide attempt.

Keywords: youth

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