Safety in the Middle of the Fringe? A Social Network Analysis of Network Position and Exposure on Suicidal Ideation among Homeless Youth. Recipient of the 2015 Lutterman Award for Best Student Paper
We utilized data from the first panel of a longitudinal, social network study of homeless youth. Participants (N=383) were sampled from two drop-in centers in Los Angeles. Youth completed a survey and social network interview. Sociometric networks of youth were constructed and measures of network position and exposure were derived. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to examine associations between network position (core vs. periphery), peer exposures (e.g. depressed, suicidal peers) and suicidal ideation.
In univariable analyses, being in the core of the network (OR: 2.33; 95% CI= 1.34, 4.06) and being connected to greater proportions of depressed (OR: 4.14; 95% CI= 2.05, 8.32) and suicidal peers (OR: 4.02; 95% CI= 1.81, 8.92) increased the likelihood of suicidal ideation. In the multivariable model, greater exposure to depressed peers remained associated with suicidal ideation (OR: 3.13; 95% CI= 1.34, 7.62) and a marginal effect for network position was still observed (OR: 1.70; 95% CI= 0.91, 3.20).
Suicide prevention programming targeting homeless youth does not address dyadic exposure to suicidogenic factors or one’s location in a social network. Identifying and treating depression in naturally occurring friendship groups, particularly in the core of the network, represents a promising network-level intervention.
Learning Areas:Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Demonstrate the use of social network methods to map the distribution of suicide risk factors and suicide-related outcomes (e.g. suicidal ideation) in social networks Discuss social network characteristics that influence individuals’ suicidal ideation
Keyword(s): Suicide, Homelessness
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Anthony Fulginitiâs research interests focus on suicide prevention in vulnerable populations (e.g. homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, child-welfare-involved youth, seriously mentally ill adults). His work emphasizes the use of social network methodology to understand the influence of social networks on adverse health and mental health outcomes (e.g. suicide, substance youth, sexual risk, community integration). Mr. Fulginiti is the recipient of the APHA Mental Health Sectionâs 2015 Kenneth Lutterman Student Award for Best Student Paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.