Family relationships and Latina teen suicide attempts: Reciprocity, asymmetry, and detachment

Lauren E. Gulbas, Luis H. Zayas, Allyson P. Nolle, Carolina Hausmann-Stabile, Jill A. Kuhlberg, Ana A. Baumann, Juan B. Peña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Using qualitative data collected from adolescent Latinas and their parents, this article describes ways in which family relationships are organized within low-income Latino families (n = 24) with and without a daughter who attempted suicide. Based on a family-level analysis approach, we present a framework that categorizes relationships as reciprocal, asymmetrical, or detached. Clear differences are identified: Families of nonattempters primarily cluster in reciprocal families, whereas families with an adolescent suicide attempter exhibit characteristics of asymmetrical or detached families. Our results highlight the need for detailed clinical attention to family communication patterns, especially in Latino families. Clinicians may reduce the likelihood of an attempt or repeated attempts by raising mutual, reciprocal exchanges of words and support between parents and daughter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Family relationships and Latina teen suicide attempts: Reciprocity, asymmetry, and detachment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this