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Journal Article


Diego AT, Yamamoto J, Nguyen LH, Hifumi SS. Asian Am. Pac. Isl. J. Health 1994; 2(1): 49-57.


Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.


(Copyright © 1994, Catherina Chen)






PURPOSES OF THE PAPER: The theory of acculturation was specifically explored as a possible cause for the increased suicide rate among Japanese and Chinese elderly women as documented by Liu and Yu. SUMMARY OF METHODS UTILIZED: Cultural factors surrounding suicide among Asian and white elderly living in Los Angeles County during the period of 1984­1989 were examined. Differences in factors contributing to suicide were also compared within specific Asian subgroups, i.e. Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Vietnamese. The authors reviewed L.A. County Corloner's investigative reports of 48 Asians and Whites age 65 years and above. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Significant differences (p<.05) were found between Asians and Whites in citizenship, number of years in the United States, occupation, living situation, and method of suicide. No significant differences (p>.05) were found for marital status, medical history, reason, previous attempt, or depression. CONCLUSIONS: The majority Asian elderly (50%) were living with their children as compared to White elderly suicide victims (2%), which showed that the Asian tradition of filial piety, as a measure of acculturaltion, was still being obeyed and thus, does not support the theory that acculturation factors cause a higher suicide rate in the Asian elderly population in L.A. County. Suicide is highly prevalent among some elderly Asian Americans and this fact is relevant for health professionals working with them. KEY WORDS: Elderly, Suicide, Asians, Whites, Culture, Male, Female.

Language: en


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