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Culture and Suicide Research Network

The Culture and Suicide Research Network (CSRN) was established to facilitate research collaboration among a group of psychologists and psychiatrists who had been actively involved in this area of research individually. It is a national network of like-minded individuals interested in furthering the development of research, prevention, intervention, and postvention programs that incorporate cultural, racial and ethnic issues to the understanding of the risk/resilience factors, antecedents, and consequences of suicidal behaviors.

In 2006, Dr. Mark Leach published Cultural diversity and suicide: Ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual orientation perspectives (Haworth press), the first book summarizing the culture and suicide literature in the U.S. Meanwhile, Dr. Leong had been conducting research on suicide among Asian Americans in Hawaii’s mental health system (Chou & Leong, 1996; Leong, 1989, see references below). In early 2006, Dr. Frederick Leong invited Dr. Leach to join him in submitting a special issue proposal to the journal, Death Studies on ethnicity and suicide. This proposal was accepted by the journal, and a number of well-established ethnicity and suicide researchers were contacted, resulting in publication of the special issue in 2007 (see below). The editor of the journal, Dr. Robert Neimeyer, contacted Drs. Leong and Leach requesting that, because of the tremendous need in the field, they consider co-editing a book on the same topic. In 2008, expanding on the special issue to include sections on theories and models, research on racial and ethnic cultures, and prevention, assessment, treatment, training, and research, Suicide among racial and ethnic minority groups (Routledge Press) was published (see below).

Prior to publication of the Routledge book, Dr. Leong contacted Dr. Leach and proposed the establishment of the Culture and Suicide Research Network, inviting individuals involved with the 2008 book to become part of the consortium. New members are continuing to join the Consortium. Its purposes are to: a) develop collaborative, multi-site research studies assessing a variety of culturally-relevant psychological variables associated with suicidal behaviors, and b) promote communication and disseminate research findings to the psychological community regarding the unique influences of culture on suicide. A small group interested in the CSRC also attending the 2007 San Francisco American Psychological Association conference met for a breakfast meeting, launching the Consortium. In the Fall of 2007, the CSRC submitted a proposal for a symposium for the 2008 APA convention to provide a state-of-the-art review of the latest empirical research on suicide among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and these papers will be presented in Boston.

Persons interested in joining the Consortium are invited to contact either of the Coordinators. The CSRC also maintains a Bibliography of research articles and book chapters related to Culture and Suicide. Individuals who have materials that would fit into the Bibliography can also submit them to either of the Coordinators. The Bibliography can be accessed using this link: Leong, Leach & Gupta (2008) References

Members of Culture and Suicide Research Network (CSRN)

Frederick T.L. Leong, Ph.D., Coordinator. Department of Psychology, Michigan State University E-mail: fleong@msu.edu

Mark M. Leach, Ph.D., Co-Coordinator. Department of Psychology, University of Louisville E-mail: m.leach@louisville.edu

Guillermo Bernal, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, University of Puerto Rico

Peter Chen, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, Colorado State University

Joyce Chu, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, Palo Alto University

Yovanska M. Duarte-Velez, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, University of Puerto Rico

Donald Eggerth, Ph.D. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati

Iwalani R.N. Else, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii

Joe Gone, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

Arpana Gupta, M.Ed. Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee

Shawn Utsey, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University

Rheeda L. Walker, Ph.D. Department of Psychology, University of Georgia

John Westefeld, Ph.D. College of Education, University of Iowa http://www.education.uiowa.edu/people/facstaffs/jwestefe.htm

Y. Joel Wong, Ph.D. Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Indiana University


Books and Special Issues authored or co-edited by members of CSRC



Frederick T. L. Leong, Ph.D., and Mark M. Leach, Ph.D. (Editors) Suicide Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups: An Introduction. Part I: Theories and Models. Leenaars, Suicide: A Cross-Cultural Theory. Lester, Theories of Suicide. Part II: Research on Racial and Ethnic Groups. Utsey, Stanard, Hook, Understanding the Role of Cultural Factors in Relation to Suicide Among African Americans: Implications for Research and Practice. Duarte-Velez, Bernal, Suicide Risk in Latino and Latina Adolescents. Leong, Leach, Gupta, Suicide Among Asian Americans: A Critical Review with Research Recommendations. Nahuna, Andrade, Examining Suicide and Suicidal-related Behaviors Among Indigenous Pacific Islanders in the United States: A Historical Perspective. Alcantara, Gone, Suicide in Native American Communities: A Transactional-ecological Formulation of the Problem. Part III: Prevention, Assessment, Treatment, Training and Research. Walker, Townley, Asiamah, Suicide Prevention in U.S. Ethnic Minority Populations. Westefeld, Range, Greenfeld, Kettman, Testing and Assessment. Rogers, Whitehead, Ethnic Considerations in Intervention and Treatment with Suicidal People. Leach, Leong, Directions for Future Research.




Mark M. Leach, Ph.D. Chapter 1. Introduction: How Does Culture Affect Suicide? A Brief History of Suicide. Definitions. Typical Risk Factors Associated with Suicide. Suicide Assessment. Why this Book? Additional Terms. Chapter 2. European Americans: Data. Gender. Age. Religion: Christianity, Judaism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues: Unique Factors for Counselors, Religious Views of GLBTs. Suicide Prevention. Crisis Intervention and Culture. Traditional Counseling & Psychotherapy Approaches. Summary. Chapter 3. African Americans: Methodological Issues. Data & Gender. Age. Strains. GLBT Issues. Cultural Buffers. Suicide prevention and intervention. Chapter 4. Asian Americans: Introduction. Rates. Age & Gender. Religion & Spirituality (Buddhism, Hinduism & Suicide). Specific Groups (Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Filipino Americans, Korean Americans, Cambodian Americans, Hmong Americans), GLBT Issues, Buddhist & Hindu Views of Death & Dying, Prevention & Intervention, Summary. Chapter 5. Hispanic Americans: Demographics. Rates & Gender. Acculturation. Age. Cultural Buffers. Religion & Spirituality. Curanderismo. Fatalismo. Social Support Systems. GLBT Issues. Prevention & Intervention. Summary. Chapter 6. Native Americans: Definitions. History. Rates. Why the High Rates? Gender. Tribal Affiliation and Culture. Methods & Concomitant Factors. Spirituality & Religion. Views of Death, Suicide, & the Afterlife. Death Rituals & Mourning. GLB (Two-Spirit) Issues. Suicide Prevention. Summary. References.



Death Studies, Volume 31 Issue 5 2007

Frederick T. L. Leong; Ph.D., and Mark M. Leach, Ph.D. (Editors) Ethnicity and suicide in the United States: Guest Editors' Introduction Frederick T. L. Leong; Mark M. Leach

A Re-Examination of Cultural Factors that Mitigate Risk and Promote Resilience in Relation to African American Suicide: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Future Research Shawn O. Utsey; Joshua N. Hook; Pia Stanard

Suicide among Asian Americans: What Do We Know? What Do We Need to Know? Frederick T. L. Leong; Mark M. Leach; Christine Yeh; Elayne Chou

Suicide Behavior among Latino and Latina Adolescents: Conceptual and Methodological Issues Yovanska M. Duarté-Vélez; Guillermo Bernal

Reviewing Suicide in Native American Communities: Situating Risk and Protective Factors within a Transactional-Ecological Framework Carmela Alcántara; Joseph P. Gone

Suicide and Suicidal-Related Behaviors among Indigenous Pacific Islanders in the United States Iwalani R. N. Else; Naleen N. Andrade; Linda B. Nahulu