ERIC Number: ED345142
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Suicidal Adolescent Latinas: A Treatment Perspective.
Zimmerman, James K.
The particular migrational and acculturative stresses and psychosocial experiences of Latino families seem to converge to create unique conditions for suicide attempts by adolescent Latinas. Adolescent Latinas may internalize the ambivalence their mothers experience about the directions taken in their own lives. Suicide attempts in adolescent Latinas can be understood as desperate efforts at connection with their mothers, attempts to integrate the contradictory horns of their dilemma. Unfortunately what often follows a suicide attempt by a Latina is an intensified but unhealthy connection with her mother, coupled with continued disruptiveness in the relationship. Engaging adolescent Latinas attempters and their mothers in psychotherapy requires careful attention to the sociocultural, developmental, and relational variables which have impinged on their lives, leading to suicidal behavior. Early in treatment it is often useful to assist both mother and daughter in identifying and clarifying the dilemma in their own terms to reframe the suicide attempt in terms of its ontological and acculturational components. A second restorative, integrative technique is to have the adolescent Latina and her mother describe their experience of the suicide attempt and events surrounding it. The intent of these interventions is to foster the ability of adolescent Latinas and their mothers to renegotiate their relationship so that mutual understanding and empathy are restored and enhanced. (ABL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Suicidology (25th, Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1992).