Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 20 Issue 4 (July/August 2010), Pages 249-332

Stressful life events and suicidal behaviour in countries with different development levels: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile and Spain (pages 288-298)


This paper presents a study conducted on 709 Latin American undergraduates from four countries with different development levels (Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile and Spain). The intention of this paper is to value the differences in the number and characteristics of stressful life events (SLE) suffered by the participants. Another purpose is to confirm the relation between SLE and suicidal conduct in Spanish cultural contexts, through the study of a multicultural sample of Spanish‐speaking university students, and finally, to isolate the SLE that allow predicting a later suicidal conduct to a greatest extent. The information was collected by means of a self‐applied questionnaire. The results indicate a greater presence of SLE among those who live in countries with lower development levels and among those who have attempted committing suicide. It is observed that the fact of having suffered certain SLE—physical or sexual mistreatment, excessive alcohol or drug consumption and having left home during childhood or adolescence—aid in the prediction of later suicidal conducts in the studied samples. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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