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A Pilot Study of Suicide Assessment in Rural Adults

2012 Pilot Research Grant
Amount Awarded: $30,000
Focus Area: Psychosocial Studies

Kelly Cukrowicz, Ph.D.

Kelly Cukrowicz, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University

Inside the Research

Bio: Dr. Cukrowicz received her doctorate from Florida State University in 2005. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Texas Tech University. She is a previous recipient of an AFSP Standard Research Grant in which she studied perceived burdensomeness in older males.

Research Categories: Rural areas, older adults, community-based research on suicidal ideation and behavior

Abstract: Suicide in rural areas has not received significant attention in the research literature, even though some studies indicate that suicide rates are higher among adults and older adults in rural areas than in urban areas. The aims of this study are (1) to establish the feasibility of assessing suicide risk in rural communities with limited access to referral care; (2) to determine a preliminary estimate of the prevalence of suicide ideation, self-injury, and history of suicide attempts in these rural communities; and (3) to examine the effectiveness and acceptability of safety and referral plans for individuals whose responses indicate elevated suicide risk. Participants will be adults aged 40 and older residing in Cochran or Parmer Counties in West Texas. This pilot study will provide necessary data for a future study of risk factors associated with suicide ideation and suicidal behavior in rural locales.

Impact: To determine the needs of the elderly in rural areas who are experiencing suicidal ideation or behavior, and to inform the development of targeted interventions.