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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Study Says Black Children, Ages 5 to 12, Are Twice as Likely to Commit Suicide Than White Children of the Same Age Group

Black girl

Suicide is one of the major causes of death in the United States. While the rate of suicide among young children is not that high, it is alarming to know that the suicide rate for Black children is twice as high as the rate of white children for the same age group of 5 to 12.
In the past studies on suicide rate, it is often discovered that national youth suicide rates are higher for white youth in comparison to black youth. But when the age group is analyzed, totally different rates are discovered.

In new research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health which was published on May 21 in JAMA Pediatrics, Jeffrey Bridge, Ph.D., of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Lisa Horowitz, Ph.D., of the NIMH Intramural Research Program, and co-authors studied the race disparities in youth suicide rates.

The data used came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), which includes data of fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost-of-injury data from 2001 to 2015. They analyzed the data of children ages 5 to 12 and adolescents ages 13 to 17 separately.

It was discovered that suicide rates of Black children are two times higher compared with White children in both male and females. On the other hand, the suicide rate for Black adolescents was half of the White adolescents, which was analyzed by gender.

"While the suicide rate was lower for black youth than white youth overall, we found a striking change in that trend when we analyzed the suicide rates by the two age groups," Horowitz explained.

The research was able to examine the suicide rates and the disparities in race but it does not include the information that could be the reason for such. It is a great start, however, for further research to understand the factors that affect the age-related racial disparities and to address the issue.

"Gaining an understanding of these and other contributing factors may someday lead to targeted, culturally sensitive interventions and help reverse the trend in suicide rates in the U.S.," concluded Horowitz.
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