Attitudes toward assisted suicide among community-dwelling Mexican Americans

Charles P. Mouton, David V. Espino, Yolanda Esparza, Toni P. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Studies of attitudes towards assisted suicide (AS) in older adults have focused on non-Hispanic White (NHW) populations. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the attitudes toward AS between elder NHW and Mexican American (MA) groups. Design: A cross-sectional survey of MA and NHW subjects. Setting: Primary care clinics of the University Health System serving patients from the San Antonio metropolitan area. Participants: One hundred ninety-four adults older than 60 years who were being seen as outpatients between June 1997 and September 1998. Main Outcome Measures: Attitudes toward assisted suicide and planned assisted suicide behavior. Results: When compared to other subgroups, MAs have less positive attitudes towards AS. Also, Mexican Americans were half as likely to indicate that they would request help to commit suicide if they had a terminal disease (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.29-0.91). Conclusions: Our analyses suggest that MA elders disapprove of AS and the factors are mediated by religious values and lower socioeconomic status. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between socioeconomic status, religiosity and AS attitudes among older MAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Social Psychology


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