The association between resiliency factors and suicide indicators among American Indian/Alaska Native middle school students in New Mexico: A strength-based analysis
Parshall, C. Qeadan, F., Espinoza, J., & English, K.
Objective: Suicide is a leading cause of death among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people aged 10-19 years in the United States, but data collection and reporting in this population are lacking. We examined results of an oversample project in New Mexico to determine the association between resiliency factors and suicide-related behaviors among AI/AN middle school students. Methods: We conducted analyses using data from the 2019 New Mexico Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey for students in grades 6 through 8. An oversampling method was used to increase the sample size of AI/AN students. We used logistic regression to determine the association between resiliency factors and suicide indicators among AI/AN students, stratified by sex. Results: Among female AI/AN students, community support had the strongest protective effect against having seriously thought about suicide (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.14-0.38), while family support was significantly associated with the lowest odds of having made a suicide plan (aOR = 0.15; 95% CI, 0.08-0.28) and having attempted suicide (aOR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.13-0.34) (P < .001 for all). Among male AI/AN students, school support had the strongest protective effect against all 3 outcomes: seriously thought about suicide (aOR = 0.34; 95% CI, 0.19-0.62; P < .001), having made a suicide plan (aOR = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.09-0.39; P < .001), and having attempted suicide (aOR = 0.27; 95% CI, 0.12-0.65; P = .003). Conclusions: Oversampling AI/AN young people can help accurately quantify and understand health risk behaviors and strengths of this population, leading to improved health and wellness. Family, community, and school-based support should be considered in interventions geared toward suicide prevention among AI/AN young people.