Black Youth Suicide: Investigation of Current Trends and Precipitating Circumstances

By Arielle H. Sheftall, PhD. et al.: For Complete Post, click here…

Objective

Suicide among Black youth is a significant public health concern, yet research investigating the epidemiology of suicide in this population is limited. This study examines current trends and precipitating circumstances of suicide by sex and age group in Black youth, 5-17 years, using two national databases.

Results

From 2003-2017, Black youth experienced a significant upward trend in suicide with the largest annual percentage change in the 15-17 age group and among girls (4.9% and 6.6%, respectively). Mental health problems, relationship problems, interpersonal trauma and life stressors, and prior suicidal thoughts/behavior were the most common clinical characteristics and precipitating circumstances with several varying by sex and age group.

Conclusion

Increases in Black youth suicide calls for the prioritization of research aimed at identifying specific risk and protective factors and developmental mechanisms associated with Black youth suicidal behavior. To implement effective suicide prevention programming, understanding targets for intervention is necessary.


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