Department of Family Therapy Dissertations and Applied Clinical Projects

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Applied Clinical Project (ACP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT)

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Christopher F. Burnett

Committee Member

Tommie V. Boyd

Abstract

Among adolescent suicides, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) subpopulation has been found to be affected at disproportionate rates (Russell & Fish, 2016). Analyzing this subpopulation by race/ethnicity, statistics show that Latinx LGB adolescents are more likely than their White peers to have a history of attempted suicides (Bostwick et al., 2014). Despite these statistics, a suicide assessment addressing the cultural needs of Latinx LGB adolescents has not been created. To address this gap in the literature, I sought to create a modified version of the Relational Suicide Assessment (RSA), originally created by Flemons and Gralnik (2013), for use with Latinx LGB adolescents. The data in this study was collected by implementing three focus groups, with five participants each. The participants were presented with the original RSA, they provided qualitative feedback about what they believed should be added or deleted, and once the research was transcribed, I created the modified assessment. The findings indicate that the RSA can be modified to account for the ethnic and cultural needs of the Latinx LGB adolescent. Five major themes in relation to suicide emerged: Latinx values/Machismo, religion/faith, family, school, and self worth. Cultural and other considerations for practitioners are also discussed. Utilizing these themes as well as feedback from the participants, the modified Relational Suicide Assessment for use with Latinx LGB adolescents was developed.

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