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NCJ Number: 65668 Find in a Library
Title: SUICIDES AND HOMICIDES AMONG INDIANS
Journal: PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTS  Volume:85  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1970)  Pages:75-80
Author(s): M OGDEN; M I SPECTOR; C A HILL
Date Published: 1970
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SUICIDE AND HOMICIDE STATISTICS FOR AMERICAN INDIANS ARE COMPARED WITH THOSE FOR THE GENERAL U.S. POPULATION THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE STATISTICS, AS WELL AS A SUICIDE PREVENTION PROJECT FOR TEENAGERS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: REFERENCES TO 'INDIANS' INCLUDES THE TOTAL ESTIMATE OF 550,000 INDIANS, ALEUTS, AND ESKIMOS LIVING IN 24 FEDERAL RESERVATION STATES PRIMARILY WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI. INDIAN DEATHS FROM SUICIDE AND HOMICIDE IN 1967 ROSE SUBSTANTIALLY OVER THE NUMBERS IN PAST YEARS, PUSHING THESE 2 CAUSES INTO THE LEADING 10. SUICIDE WAS THE 10TH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN 1967, UP FROM 13TH IN EACH OF THE PREVIOUS YEARS. HOMICIDE MOVED FROM 11TH OR 12TH DURING THE PREVIOUS 8 YEARS TO 8TH. UNTIL 1967, INDIAN CRUDE SUICIDE RATES WERE ONLY SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN THOSE FOR ALL RACES, RANGING FROM 1 TO 1.2 TIMES AS HIGH; IN 1967 THE RATIO WAS 1.6. SUICIDE RATES BY AGE INDICATE THAT INDIAN RATES QRE GREATER THAN ALL RACES, RATES UP TO AGE 45 BUT SMALLER THEREAFTER. FAR MORE MALES THAN FEMALES COMMIT SUICIDE (BASED ON AN ESTIMATED TOTAL INDIAN POPULATION OF 630,000). BETWEEN 1960 AND 1966, HOMICIDE DEATH RATES INCREASED FOR BOTH THE INDIAN AND GENERAL POPULATIONS, AND APPROXIMATELY THREE-FOURTHS OF ALL HOMICIDE DEATHS FROM 1959 THROUGH 1966 WERE MALE. SUICIDE IS GREATLY UNDERREPORTED AND THE DIFFERENCE IN THE AGE-SPECIFIC SUICIDE DEATH RATES BETWEEN INDIANS AND OTHERS MAY REFLECT THE FACT THAT YOUNGER INDIANS ARE CAUGHT IN CROSS-CULTURAL CONFLICT. HOMICIDE AND SUICIDE MAY ALSO BE SYMPTOMATIC OF DEEPER PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM TRYING TO ADJUST TO A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. A MULTIAGENCY EFFORT USING VOLUNTEERS ON CALL 24 HOURS A DAY AND PSYCHOTHERAPY, IS UNDERWAY ON MANY RESERVATIONS TO HELP SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF SUICIDE AMONG INDIAN TEENAGERS. TABULAR DATA AND FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (AOP)
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; American Indians; Homicide; Indian affairs; Reservation crimes; Suicide; Tribal community relations
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