Understanding Why Latinas Attempt Suicide
Luis H. Zayas is the inaugural holder of the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor of Social Work at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work of Washington University in St. Louis. He is the founder and director of the School’s Center for Latino Family Research, the only center in a U.S. school of social work that conducts research on Latino social, health, mental health, and family and community development in the U.S. and Latin America.
In his applied research, Zayas has tested an intervention to reduce prenatal and postpartum depression in low-income minority women. He examines cultural adaptations of mental health treatments for Latino children and families and continues research on how clinicians’ ethnicities influence the psychiatric diagnoses given to Hispanic patients.
Zayas’ current research explores the socio-cultural and developmental processes that influence suicidal behavior among adolescent Latinas. This work has received national attention in numerous media outlets. His leadership in the clinical and research community and his contributions to the Hispanic community have earned him numerous honors and awards.
Abstract: U.S. Latina adolescents have consistently outpaced other youth—males and females—in their rates of suicide ideation, planning, and attempts. Drawing from his 30 years of clinical practice and research on this serious public health issue, Zayas will discuss the history of this phenomenon. He will present findings from the original research he has conducted in this field and from his latest book, Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Cultures, Families, and Daughters Collide (Oxford University Press, 2011).