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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


This study investigated suicide in Indo-American families. Relationships between acculturation, acculturative stress, and family relationships in completed suicides of Indo-American youth were examined. Snowball sampling procedures were used to find six adult sibling survivors of suicide as participants. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted by the researcher. Grounded theory strategies were used to analyze data and generate theory. Analysis of results yielded both protective and risk factors for suicide. Acculturation risk factors resulted from homogeneous populations lacking in diversity while protective factors were progressive and integrated neighborhood and schools. Integration was the preferred mode of acculturation by participants and suicide victims. Acculturative stress was associated with experiences of racism/discrimination, non-verbalized parental expectations, and family communication problems. Risk factors of family relationships were strongest in areas of parental expectations, family communication, and family conflict. Protective factors in areas of family support were characterized by an intimate communication with at least one parent and/or sibling, financial support provided by parents, and independence to pursue academic/career path. Future implications, strengths and limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are also discussed.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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