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Literature on suicide and Pasifika people

Interested in existing literature and research about suicide and Pasifika? We’ve compiled the following list about:

Pasifika peoples in New Zealand

Tiatia-Seath, J. (2014). Pacific peoples, mental health service engagement and suicide prevention in Aotearoa New Zealand. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care 09/2014, Volume 7(3), pp 111-121.

Manuela, S., Sibley, C. (2014). Exploring the Hierarchical Structure of Pacific Identity and Wellbeing. Social Indicators Research, Volume 118(3), pp. 969-985.

Tukuitonga, C. (2013). Pacific people in New Zealand. Published by the Medical Council of New Zealand, 65.

Tiatia, J. (2012). Commentary on ‘Cultural Diversity Across the Pacific’: Samoan Cultural Constructs of Emotion, New Zealand-Born Samoan Youth Suicidal Behaviours, and Culturally Competent Human Services. Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology, 6(02), 75-79.

Helu, S.L., et al., Youth ‘07 (2009).  The health and wellbeing of secondary school students in New Zealand: Results for Pacific young people. The University of Auckland: Auckland.

Ministry of Health, (2008). Pacific Peoples and Mental Health: A paper for the Pacific Health and Disability Action Plan review. Wellington: Ministry of Health.

Mila-Schaaf, K., et al.,(2008).  A Health Profile of Pacific Youth: Findings of Youth2000. A National Secondary School Youth Health Survey. University of Auckland.: Auckland.

Foliaki, S., et al., (2006). Pacific People, in Te Rau Hinengaro: The New Zealand Mental Health Survey, M.A. Oakley-Browne, J.E. Wells, and S. K.M., Editors. Ministry of Health: Wellington.

Henare, K., & Ehrhardt, P. (2004). Support for Māori, Pacific and Asian Family, whānau, and significant others who have been bereaved by suicide: findings of a literature search. Wellington: Ministry of Youth Development.

Chan Chui, D.O (2016) Violence against females in Samoa: 1970s-2000. A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Pacific Studies, the University of Auckland.

Faalogo-Lilo, C (2012) Barriers and supports Pacific people experience in using mental health services. A Doctoral thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Doctor of Clinical Psychology at The University of Auckland

Fuavao, K.U-H-P (2012) An investigation into the accountability environment for District Health Boards and Pacific providers of adult mental health services in Auckland. A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Public Health, the University of Auckland

Patolo, T.F.G (2016) Exploring young Pacific tertiary students’ views and experiences of bullying. A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Pacific Studies, the University of Auckland.

Articles and Technical Reports:

Manuela, S., & Sibley, C. G. (2014). Why do Pacific people with multiple ethnic affiliations have poorer subjective wellbeing? Negative ingroup affect mediates the identity tension effect. Social Indicators Research, 115(1), 319-336.

Mulder, Roger T ; Petaia, Lisi ; Pulotu-Endemann, Fuimaono Karl ; Tuitama, George L ; Viali, Satu ; Parkin, Ian Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2016, Vol.50(5), pp.397-398

Teevale, T., Denny, S., Percival, T., & Fleming, T. (2013). Pacific secondary school students’ access to primary health care in New Zealand. New Zealand medical journal, 126(1375), 58-68.

Teevale, T., Lee, A. C.-L., Tiatia-Seath, J., Clark, T. C., Denny, S., Bullen, P., . . . Peiris-John, R. J. (2016). Risk and protective factors for suicidal behaviors among Pacific youth in New Zealand. Crisis.

Tiatia-Seath, J. (2015). Suicide prevention for Tongan youth in New Zealand – Report to the Health Research Council of New Zealand and Ministry of Health for the Pacific Partnership Programme. Retrieved from Auckland:

Tiatia-Seath, J. (2016). Suicide postvention: support for Pacific communities – Report for Waka Hourua national suicide prevention programme for Māori and Pasifika communities. Retrieved from Auckland:

Tiatia-Seath, J., Lay-Yee, R., & Von Randow, M. (2017). Suicide mortality among Pacific peoples in New Zealand, 1996-2013. New Zealand medical journal, 130(1454), 21-29.

Pacific region

Chand, Rajni K. (2015). Access to information: questions on equality, gender and geographical gap in relation to suicide prevention. Journal of Pacific Studies, 35(1). pp. 1-19.

Bridges, F.S. (2008). Social integration and suicide in the Western Pacific Islands. Psychological Reports 06/2008, Volume 102, Issue 3, p.683.

Baravilala, W. (2001). Suicide in the Pacific – a mental health epidemic. Pacific Health Dialog, Volume 8(1), p. 4.

Booth, H. (1999). Pacific Island Suicide in Comparative Perspective. Journal of Biosocial Science, 1999, Vol.31(4), pp. 433-448.

Rubenstein, D. (1992). Suicide in Micronesia and Samoa: A Critique of Explanations. Pacific Studies, Vol.15(1), pp. 51-75.

Hezel, F., Rubenstein, D., White, G. (1985). Culture, youth and suicide in the Pacific: papers from an East-West Centre Conference. East-West Center Honolulu, Hawaii: Pacific Islands Studies Program, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa in collaboration with the Institute of Culture and Communication, East-West Center.

Pasifika diaspora

Sczersputowski, J. (2015, November). Applying a community participatory model to creating suicide prevention materials for seven Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. In 143rd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (October 31-November 4, 2015). APHA.

Wyatt, L., Ung, T., Park, R., Kwon, S.C., Trinh-Shevrin, C. (2015). Risk Factors of Suicide and Depression among Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Youth: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal of health care for the poor and undeserved. 05/2015, Volume 26, Issue 2 (Suppl) p. 191.

Kasich, J. R., & Plouck, T. J. (2014). Mental Health, Suicide and Trauma among Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Wong, S. S., Sugimoto-Matsuda, J. J., Chang, J. Y., & Hishinuma, E. S. (2012). Ethnic differences in risk factors for suicide among American high school students, 2009: the vulnerability of multiracial and Pacific Islander adolescents. Archives of suicide research, 16(2), pp. 159-173.

Lu, F. G. (2012). Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Disparities in Psychiatric Care: Disparities in Psychiatric Care, 40.

Else, I. R., Andrade, N. N., & Nahulu, L. B. (2007). Suicide and suicidal-related behaviors among indigenous Pacific Islanders in the United States. Death studies, Volume 31, Issue 5, 479-501.

Pinhey, T.K., & Millman, S.R. (2004) Asian/Pacific Islander Adolescent Sexual Orientation and Suicide Risk in Guam. American Journal of Public Health. Issue 94:1204.

Else, R.N., Goeber, D.A., Bell, C.K., Carlton, B., & Fukuda M. (2009). The relationship between violence and youth suicide indicators among Asian American and Pacific Islander youth. Aggression and Violent Behavior. Volume 14: 470-477.

Ethnic-specific literature

Cook Islands

Puna, E.T. (2013) New Zealand-born Cook Islands youth views towards positive mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. Masters of Public Health unpublished Thesis.  Auckland. University of Auckland.


Fa’alau, F. (2011). Organisation and dynamics of family relations and implications for the wellbeing of Samoan youth in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Unpublished doctoral thesis. Auckland: Sociology, Massey University.

Faleafa, M., Lui, D., Afaaso, B., Pio, M., & Skipps-Patterson, S. (2007). Paolo : “O o’u Paolo ou te malu ai” “It is my people that give me shelter”: Embracing our Samoan communities: suicide prevention information for people working with Samoans in Niu Sila. Auckland: Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.

Steward-Withers, R., & O’Brien, A. (2006). Suicide prevention and social capital: A Samoan perspective. Health Sociology Review, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp.209-220.

Tiatia, J. (2003). Reasons to live: NZ born Samoan young people’s responses to suicidal behaviours. Unpublished PhD in Community Health thesis. Auckland: University of Auckland.

Samu, K.S. (2003). Social Correlates of Suicide among Samoan Youth. Master of Sociology unpublished thesis. Auckland: University of Auckland.

Bourke, T. (2001). Suicide in Samoa. Pacific Health Dialog. Volume 8, Issue 1, p.213

Zinn, C. (1995). Islands of youthful desperation. Western Samoa’s high youth suicide rate. The Guardian, Sept 25, 1995, p.9(1).

Macpherson, C., & Macpherson, L. (1987). Towards an Explanation of Recent Trends in Suicide in Western Samoa. Man New Series, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 305-330.

Bowles, J.R. (1985). Suicide and Attempted Suicide in Contemporary Western Samoa. In Culture, Youth and Suicide in the Pacific: Papers from an East-West Center Conference, edited by Francis X. Hezel, Donald H. Rubinstein, and Geoffrey M. White, 15-35. Working Paper series [1985]. Honolulu, Hawaii: Pacific Islands Studies Program, Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Tiatia, E. (1977). Suicide in Samoa and a Christian response. Unpublished thesis. Suva: Pacific Theological College.


Valenisia, S. (2013). The reflections by Tongan parents or caregivers on various factors that may have contributed to the suicide of their child. Master of Counselling unpublished thesis. Auckland: University of Auckland.

Foliaki, S. (1999). Mental health among Tongan migrants. Pacific Health Dialog, 6(2), pp. 288-294.


Tavite, A., & Tavite, S. (2009). Suicide in the Tokelau Islands. Pacific Health Dialog, 15(2), p. 67.

Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.