Exploring relationships between socioeconomic position, family context, culture, and suicidality among Métis peoples : reflections from the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey
Hagen, Briana Nisa Melia
According to a 2003 Health Canada report, suicide was the leading cause of death among Aboriginal individuals under the age of 45, accounting for 23% of all deaths in this at-risk population. While previous research has explored many potential risk factors for suicide among Aboriginal populations, none have considered the Métis population independent of other Aboriginal groups. Additionally, there have been no studies explicitly examining the relationship between family context and suicidality among either of these populations; this is the primary relationship of interest in this project. Data used for this project was taken from the 2006 Aboriginal People’s Survey (APS). The APS is a national cross-sectional survey of 61,041 First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Within the APS, family context was constructed using several variables including parental divorce, childhood adoption, number of siblings, etc. Analyses for this project included a multi-stage process consisting of bivariate and multivariable analyses. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was separated by gender and examined those aged 25-54. Results showed that that for women, renting versus owning your home, the death of sibling under age 2, or being removed by a child welfare agency, the church, or government officials was significantly associated with suicidal ideation. For men, unemployment, living in the community of origin, death of a sibling under age 2, and participating in traditional craftwork all significantly associated with suicidal ideation. Not graduating from high school and unemployment were significantly associated with suicide attempts for men or women when controlling for all other demographic, family context, and culture variables within the final model. As has been the case in previous research surrounding culture, several of the results in the bivariate analysis of this project were counterintuitive (Wilson & Rosenberg, 2002). This shows that nuanced and contextual interpretations are critical, and a space is opened with this research to critically consider what exactly is being captured through the survey measures. I argue that the strength of the linkage between a measure and its conceptual basis becomes increasingly tenuous and problematic as the complexity of the circumstance the measure is attempting to capture increases.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentCommunity Health and Epidemiology
ProgramCommunity Health and Epidemiology
CommitteeBilinski, Hope; Pahwa, Punam; Janzen, Bonnie
Copyright DateJuly 2011