Maike Holleck, Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Self Harm & Suicide Ideation: How Hispanic Teens are Coping

Abstract: Recent national attention has been drawn towards cases of self-harm, suicide or “cyber-suicide” among adolescent youth, pre-adolescents and even adults. Prevalence rates differ across several studies and with that, possible explanations as to why there has been an increase in negative coping methods such as suicidal ideation, depression, or psychological distress. A high school located in rural South Texas (primarily Hispanic student population) allowed student-athletes (N=118) to participate in a health and wellness program (volunteer) over the course of two months; which included a survey measuring several psychological and emotional measures (e.g., depression, self-harm, bullying, self-esteem) and six lessons on health and wellness. Results currently indicate 50.6% of teens (15-18) experience feeling hopeless (for period of two weeks) enough that they stopped doing activities they enjoy. Additionally, 33.4% of students have considered attempting suicide, as well as 22.8% thinking about cutting him/herself as a means of coping. Preliminary results indicate that there is a need for prevention efforts at the high school level to not only address concerns of self-harm, but also the markers prior to reaching dangerous or harmful areas of psychological anguish. School performance, athletics, peer relationships and self-esteem are at risk for individuals that lack the tools to cope.

Presentation Author(s):
Maike Holleck*

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