Category: Suicide and Self-Injury

Symposium

Similarities and Differences Between Non-Hispanic White and Latinx Patients With Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

Saturday, November 18
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Self-Injury | Cross Cultural / Cultural Differences
Presentation Type: Symposium

Some studies suggest that nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) varies by race/ethnicity, at least in the United States. Although some studies suggest non-Hispanic whites and Asians have higher rates of NSSI, other studies suggest there are no significant racial/ethnic differences. Very little is known, however, about Latinx populations. For example, a recent exploratory study had a sample size of 26 adolescent Latinas, but no non-Latinx comparison sample (Gulbas et al., 2015). To address this gap in the literature, a sample of 1,502 patients receiving acute treatment for NSI (41.3% Inpatient, 58.7% Partial Hospitalization/Intensive Outpatient) was obtained from data collected as part of routine clinical assessment and evaluation at a large behavioral health hospital. Data were de-identified prior to analysis in accordance with the Safe Harbor standard. The sample was predominantly female (87.9%) adolescents (83.0%) or emerging adults (11.8%) with an age range from 11-68 years old (=16.3, SD=5.4).  The sample included 1,112 non-Hispanic white (75.2%), 233 Latinx (15.8%), and 134 (8.9%) participants of other racial and ethnic identities. For this study, the final sample was limited to non-Hispanic white and Latinx patients (n=1,345).


Outcome variables included the urge to self-injure assessed with the Alexian Brothers Urge to Self-Injure Scale (ABUSI), general psychopathology assessed with the Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale (BASIS-24), borderline personality traits assessed with the Borderline Evaluation of Severity over Time (BEST), and quality of life assessed with the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (QLES).


Preliminary bivariate analyses indicate that Latinx patients are significantly younger (14.7 vs. 16.7, t(1343)=4.91, pt(1343)=5.38, p 


All outcome variables significantly decreased from admission to discharge, including the urge to self-injure (dw=0.77), psychopathology (dw=1.02), borderline traits (dw=1.11), and quality of life (dw=0.86). Adjusting for age and inpatient status, ethnicity did not interact with the urge to self-injure, psychopathology, or quality of life outcomes; however, there was a small non-significant trend for borderline traits (β = 1.49, SE = 0.81, p = .067), with worse outcomes among Latinx patients (dw=1.00) compared to non-Hispanic whites (dw=1.13).


In summary, while some small differences were evident, this study suggests that at an acute level of care, Latinx patients appear largely similar to non-Hispanic white patients.

Jason Washburn

Director of Clinical Training
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

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