Abstract: (see Poster Gallery) Relationships between Neighborhood Collective Efficacy and Adolescent Suicidal Ideation (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

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SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

626P (see Poster Gallery) Relationships between Neighborhood Collective Efficacy and Adolescent Suicidal Ideation

Sunday, January 15, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Ji Hyeon Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Background and Purpose: Until now, South Korean adolescent suicidal ideation literature has focused mainly on individual-level characteristics. Little is known about the contextual effects of social integration and social regulation on an individual’s suicide behavior in South Korea as identified through the use of Durkheim’s sociological insights. This study drew on Durkheim’s suicide and collective efficacy theories and analyzed the effects of the structural characteristics and collective efficacy of neighborhoods on adolescents’ suicidal ideation. The goal was to use study findings as the basis for policy and intervention strategies aimed at reducing adolescent suicide risk in South Korea.

Methods: The data analyzed was from three sources: the 2013 Korean National Survey of the Present Status of Children (n = 1,915; 50.41% girls; mean age = 13.04 years), government census data from the Korea Statistical Information System, and administrative data from the Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare. Participants’ suicidal ideation was assessed by asking “During the past 12 months, have you ever seriously contemplated committing suicide?” Response options to this question were binary: no (0), yes (1). Measures of neighborhood structural characteristic variables were constructed using official Korean government census data from KOSIS and administrative (neighborhood) data from the KMHW. These data were linked to the 2013 KNSPSC data by geocoding techniques. Neighborhood-concentrated poverty was captured by a composite score comprised of the number of residents receiving public assistance (per 1000 residents), the proportion of residents unemployed, and the proportion of female-headed. All indicators were z-score standardized and summed to yield a concentrated poverty score. The divorce rate was measured by the number of divorces in each administrative unit (per 1000 residents). The residential instability variable was operationalized as the percentage of people who had moved into or out of each district unit during the previous year. The collective efficacy variable was measured using the scale developed by Sampson et al. (1997), which comprises five items that represent social cohesion and informal social control in the residential neighborhood area. In order to obtain more precise estimates of the effects of neighborhood-level characteristics on adolescent suicidal ideation, an array of individual-level covariates associated with adolescent suicidal ideation were controlled in this study. Four covariates were selected based on findings of previous studies: demographics (gender and age), personal (depression/anxiety, smoking, and alcohol drinking), family-related (family economic status, supportive parenting, and child maltreatment), and school-related (peer bullying). The Hierarchical Generalized Linear Model was used to investigate the effects of neighborhood structural characteristics and collective efficacy on adolescent suicidal ideation.

Results: There were no significant associations between neighborhood characteristics such as concentrated poverty, divorce rate, and residential instability; however, adolescents’ perceptions of collective efficacy in neighborhoods was associated with lower suicidal ideation after accounting for individual adolescent differences.

Conclusions and Implications: The findings provide significant implications for the prevention of suicide in adolescents and suggest that enhancing the collective efficacy of neighborhoods through community-based intervention may be an important target of future suicide prevention strategies in South Korea.