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An Epidemiologic Study of Aboriginal Adolescent Risk in Canada: The Meaning of Suicide


  • Melanie S. MacNeil, RN, BSN, MSN, EdD (Health Care Education), is Past-President, Sigma Theta Tau, Zeta Nu, Honor Society of Nursing, Nursing Department, Niagara University, New York.

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BACKGROUND: Current rates of Aboriginal youth suicide suggest that an epidemiologic review is needed to understand the impact of culture, community, and environment specific to suicide within this population.

PURPOSE: This paper aims to (a) examine the literature on the incidence of suicide with special attention to that of adolescents in Aboriginal communities in Canada, (b) review factors hypothesized to place Aboriginals at risk, and (c) explore research directions that would contribute to our understanding of an Aboriginal perspective of suicide.

CONCLUSION: A clear description of the meaning of adolescent Aboriginal suicide and an understanding of the factors that create risk is needed.

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