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Suicide Risk in Rural Adults: A Comprehensive Model of Risk

2013 Standard Research Grant
Amount Awarded: $90,000
Focus Area: Psychosocial Studies

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.

Research Category: Psychosocial

Abstract: Rural adults are at 30-50% higher risk for suicide than adults living in urban areas, and we do not know what contributes to this discrepancy. Dr. Cukrowicz will examine potential physical, psychological, cognitive, and social contributors to suicidal ideation and behavior among adults living in rural areas who attempt suicide. Four hundred adults will be assessed with respect to suicidal ideation and behavior, suicide risk factors, vulnerability factors, and protective factors. Participants’ medical history will be documented and an interview to evaluate their mental health will be conducted. She is also examining how factors specific to rural areas, such as limited access to mental health care, stigma against mental illness, and the unique stresses of daily life, may influence suicidal ideation and behavior in this rural sample.  With such a comprehensive assessment the relative contributions of the factors can be more clearly described. .

Impact: Understanding factors that influence suicidal behavior among rural adults will inform culturally and geographically relevant treatments and interventions.