Father–Daughter Relationships among Latina Adolescents Who Attempted Suicide: An Exploratory Dyadic Analysis

Jaimie L. O’Gara, Lauren E. Gulbas, Gisel Suarez Bonilla, Gabriela Manzo, Brandy Piña-Watson, Luis H. Zayas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Among adolescents, Latinas are at an increased risk of experiencing suicidal ideation and attempts compared to non-Hispanic, White youth. Previous research indicates that family dynamics are influential as both protective and risk factors. Although significant research has been conducted over the past several decades examining the mother–daughter relationship, few studies have examined the father–daughter relationship among Latina adolescent suicide attempters. The relationship dynamics between fathers and daughters of Latina descent are both similar and unique compared to mother–daughter relationships. Given this, an in-depth analysis is warranted. To address this gap, the present study utilized dyadic thematic analysis to describe father–daughter relationships (N = 10 dyads, 20 individual interviews) and fathers' reactions to their Latina daughters' suicide attempt(s). Three themes emerged from the results (a) dynamic proximity, which describes the variation in emotional and physical closeness between fathers and daughters; (b) father as protector, which describes fathers’ roles in protecting or failing to protect their daughters; (c) responses to the suicide attempt, which describes the various ways fathers responded to daughters’ suicide attempts, ranging from helpful action to apathy. Themes gleaned from in-depth interviews informed a deeper understanding of these complex, multifaceted relationships, and how they may be linked to fathers' responses to daughters' suicide attempts. Implications for future research and clinical practice with youth at risk for suicidal ideations and behaviors, along with the impact of such experiences on families, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Process
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Father-daughter relationships
  • Latina suicide
  • Suicide attempt

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