Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Ijeoma Opara


Asian American youth mental health is largely absent from the literature despite suicide being the leading cause of death among Asian American adolescents aged 14 -19 (high school-aged youth) from 2015 – 2020. This study aims to assess if Asian American students have a higher rate of suicide ideation compared to White students, what factors may account for a difference in suicide ideation rate if a difference is present, and if there are correlates of suicide ideation that are more salient among Asian American students compared to White students from the 2019 Youth Behavior Risk Survey. Despite a similar prevalence of suicide ideation, 19.7% of Asian American high school students and 19.3% of White students, Asian American high school students had 1.54 times the odds (1.16 – 2.05) of self-reported suicide ideation than White American high school students after adjusting for sex, academic performance, self-perception of weight, the experience of bullying, feeling sad or hopeless, any cigarette use, any marijuana use, and any illicit drug use – these characteristics had a protective effect against suicide ideation for Asian American students. In addition, significant correlates of suicide ideation for Asian American high school students were identified as feelings of sadness or hopelessness and any electronic vapor product. Due to the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans, regarded as the model of health, additional research that focuses on Asian American youth with the goal of dismantling the model minority stereotype of Asian Americans must be prioritized to more confidently conclude the correlates of suicide ideation among Asian American adolescents. Understanding the correlates of suicide among Asian American youth is essential to tailor future prevention and intervention programs to stop the increasing trend of suicide among Asian American youth.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access