Enculturation and Suicidal Ideation Among Korea and U.S. University Students

B. C. Ben Park, Jung Jin Kim, David Lester


Previous research has shown that attachment to one’s cultural roots is a protective factor against suicidal behavior. A questionnaire was administered to 325 South Korean and 356 U.S. university students to assess their suicidal ideation, reasons for living, and attachment to their cultural heritage. The results indicated that the attachment to one’s cultural traditions and roots and having more reasons for living were protective factors against suicidal ideation in both cultures. The strength of the associations was much stronger, however, in South Korean students than in American students. Suicide prevention efforts should focus on increasing the ties of at-risk individuals to their cultural heritage.


Enculturation; Suicidal ideation; Korea university students; U.S. university students

Full Text:



Breault, K. D. (1986). Suicide in America: A test of Durkheim’s theory of religious and family integration, 1973-1980. American Journal of Sociology, 92, 628-656.

Brennan, K. A., Clark, C. L., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Self-report measurement of adult attachment. In J. A. Simpson, & W. S. Rholes (Eds.), Attachment theory and close relationships (pp.46-76). New York: Guilford.

Chandler, M. J., Lalonde, C. E., Sokol, B. W., & Hallett, D. (2003). Personal persistence, identity development, and suicide: A Study of native and non-native North American adolescents. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 68(2), Serial number 273.

Clayer, J. R., & Czechowicz, A. S. (1991). Suicide by aboriginal people in South Australia: comparison with suicide deaths in the total urban and rural populations. Medical Journal of Australia, 154, 683-685.

Danigelis, N., & Pope, W. (1979). Durkheim’s theory of suicide as applied to the family. Social Forces, 57, 1081-1106.

Durkheim, E. (1897). Le suicide. Paris, France: Felix Alcan.

Giddens, A. (1971). The sociology of suicide: A selection of readings. London, UK: Cass.

Ivanoff, A., Jang, S. J., Smyth, N. J. Z., & Linehan, M. M. (1994). Fewer reasons for staying alive when you are thinking of killing yourself: The brief reasons for living inventory. Journal of Psychopathology & Behavioral Assessment, 16, 1-13.

Joiner, T. E. (2005). Why people die by suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Linehan, M. M., Goodstein, J. L., Nielsen, S. L., & Chiles, J. A. (1983). Reasons for staying alive when you are thinking of killing yourself: The reasons for living inventory. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 51, 276–286.

Park, B. C. (2013). Cultural ambivalence and suicide rates in South Korea. In E. Colucci, & D. Lester (Eds.), Suicide and culture (pp. 237-262). Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe.

Park, B. C., & Lester, D. (2006). Social integration and suicide in South Korea. Crisis, 27, 48-50.

Pescosolido, B. A., & Wright, E. R. (1990). Suicide and the role of the family over the life course. Family Perspectives, 24, 41-58.

Reynolds, W. M. (1987). The suicidal Iideation questionnaire: SIQ form HS. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Stack, S. (1980). The effects of marital dissolution on suicide. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 42, 83-91.

Stack, S. (1985). Domestic/religious individualism on suicide, 1954-1978. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 47, 431-445.

Stack, S. (1990). The effect of divorce on suicide in Japan: a time series analysis, 1950-1980. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 54, 327-334.

Stack, S. (1992). The effect of divorce on suicide in Denmark. Sociological Quarterly, 31, 359-370.

Stack, S. (2000). Suicide: A 15-year review of the sociological literature, Part I: cultural and economic factors. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior, 30, 145-162.

Trovato, F. (1987). A longitudinal analysis of divorce and suicide in Canada. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 49, 193-203.

Tubergen, F., Grotenhuis, M., & Ultee, W. (2005). Denomination, religious context, and suicide: neo-Durkheimian multilevel explanations tested with individual and contextual data. American Journal of Sociology, 111, 797-823.

Wasserman, I. (1990). A longitudinal analysis of the linkage between divorce and suicide. Family Perspectives, 24, 61-67.

Westefeld, J. S., Scheel, K., & Maples, M. (1998). Psychometric analyses of the college student reasons for living inventory using a clinical population. Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development, 31, 86-94.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2014 B. C. Ben Park, Jung Jin Kim, David Lester

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Online Submission: http://cscanada.org/index.php/ccc/submission/wizard

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net; ccc@cscanada.net; ccc@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Cross-Cultural Communication are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mail:caooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture