Year: 2018 Source: Archives of Suicide Research. (2018). 22(4): 569-583 SIEC No: 20180579

Puerto Rican adolescents, as well as other Latinos/as, have been identified at higher risk for suicidal ideation and attempts compared to other ethnic groups. However, research designed to better understand suicidality among Puerto Rican adolescents is rare. Objective: A socio-cognitive vulnerability model of suicidal ideation was tested in adolescents living in Puerto Rico. Method: Multiple group path analyses were performed to assess the effect of self-reported socio-environmental and vulnerability factors on suicidal ideation, by sex, in 233 students from the metropolitan area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Results: Overall, the model explained a large amount of the variance in suicidal ideation (r2 = .59 for females and r2 = .48 for males). Depressive symptoms had the strongest total effect on suicidal ideation for both sexes (r = .69 for females and r = .53 for males) and negative life events were the most salient socio-environmental factor. Hopelessness had a direct effect on suicidal ideation for males only. Externalizing behaviors had a direct effect on suicidal ideation for both males and females, but it was particularly strong for females. Conclusion: Results support the mediating role of vulnerability factors and the differential importance of socio-environmental and vulnerability factors in understanding suicidal ideation among Puerto Rican adolescents. The relevance of exploring different developmental paths to suicidal ideation, separately by sex, is discussed.