Article Text

Download PDFPDF
120 Sadness and attempted suicide among latinx youths: prevalence in a state-wide probability sample, New Mexico, 2019
  1. Carlos Linares-Koloffon,
  2. Lisa Cacari-Stone,
  3. Theresa Cruz,
  4. Shannon Sanchez-Youngman
  1. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA


Statement of Purpose Nationally, the prevalence of sadness/hopelessness and suicide attempt is higher among Latinx youth compared with non-Latinx youth in the US. Protective factors for sadness/hopelessness and suicide attempt include parental, community, and school engagement and support. In New Mexico, a majority of youth are Latinx. The purpose of this study was to better understand the prevalence of sadness and suicide attempt among NM youth, particularly Latinx youth, as well as the relative prevalence of several protective factors.

Methods/Approach We estimated the prevalence of sadness/hopelessness and suicide attempt by ethnicity (Latinx vs non-Latinx), as well as by sex, and sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual), using data from the NM Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (NMYRRS) 2019, a population-based survey of 7593 high school students. We also examined the relationship between the outcomes and measures of parental, community, and school support and engagement.

Results There was no significant difference in the prevalence of sadness/hopelessness (40.83% vs. 40.04% p=0.512) or attempted suicide (10.31% vs. 9.78% p=0.506) between Latinx and non-Latinx youth, respectively. The odds of sadness/hopelessness were 2.53 for Latinx females compared with Latinx males, while the odds of suicide attempt were 1.60. Among LGB Latinx youth the odds of sadness/hopelessness were 3.22 and the odds of suicide attempt were 5.26 compared with heterosexual Latinx youth. Latinx youth had a lower prevalence of plans to attend college than their non-Latinx peers (60.68% vs 66.07% p=0.00).

Conclusions Latinx female and Latinx LGB youth experience a higher prevalence of sadness/hopelessness compared with their non-Latinx counterparts. The prevalence of suicide attempt is significantly higher among LGB Latinx youth. One protective factor, plans to attend college, was significantly lower among Latinx youth. Further exploration of the political, social, economic, and cultural contexts that influence decision-making regarding higher education among Latinx youth is needed.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.