Attitudes and perceptions of suicide and suicide prevention messages for Asian Americans

Priyata Thapa, Yoonhee Sung, David A. Klingbeil, Chih Yuan Steven Lee, Bonnie Klimes-Dougan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Understanding the context of suicidal behaviors is critical for effective suicide prevention strategies. Although suicide is an important topic for Asian Americans, there is limited information about what Asian Americans' attitudes are towards suicide and their perceptions about the effectiveness of prevention efforts. These questions are critical to examine to provide foundational knowledge for determining how best to intervene. In this study, Asian American (n = 87) and White (n = 87) participants completed self-report indexes on their knowledge of depression and suicide (e.g., estimates of suicide rates), coping attitudes (e.g., help-seeking) and suicide prevention attitudes (e.g., usefulness of PSAs). The results indicate that in comparison to Whites, Asian Americans perceived suicidal behavior to be more common, perceived a stronger link between depression and suicide, less frequently endorsed help-seeking strategies, and reported more concern or distress after viewing a suicide prevention PSA. These preliminary results also suggest the possibility of cultural differences in perceptions of suicide prevention messages. The implications of these findings are discussed with a focus on providing recommendations for exploring suicide prevention efforts for Asian Americans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-564
Number of pages18
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Asian American (AA)
  • Public service announcements
  • Suicide prevention


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