Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 370–379 | Cite as

Suicidal Ideation and Distress Among Immigrant Adolescents: The Role of Acculturation, Life Stress, and Social Support

  • Yong-Beom Cho
  • Nick Haslam
Empirical Research


Acculturative stress and social support play important roles in suicide-related phenomena among adolescent immigrants. To examine their contributions, measures of acculturative and general life stress and a measure of multiple sources of social support were used to predict psychological distress and suicidal ideation among Korean-born high school students residing in the US. Korean students who were sojourning without both parents were compared to Korean students who immigrated with both parents, Korean students who remained in Korea, and American high school students in the US (total N = 227; 56.8% female). The sojourning group reported higher levels of life stress, distress, psychological symptoms, and suicidal ideation than the other groups. Within the two acculturating groups, levels of distress, symptoms, and suicidal ideation were associated with life stress, lack of parental support, and not living with both parents. The findings have important implications for suicide prevention among immigrant adolescents, and imply that parental support is particularly protective.


Acculturation Adolescence Immigrants Korea Parents Social support Suicidality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew School UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center of KoreaSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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