Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Migraine Pain Linked to Raised Suicide RiskSuicide Rates Fall When States Raise Minimum Wage: StudySuicidal Behavior Nearly Doubles Among U.S. KidsWhy Men Won't Mention Suicidal Thoughts to Their DoctorU.S. Deaths From Suicide, Substance Abuse Reach Record HighGlobal Rate of Suicide Deaths Is on the DeclineTeens' Odds for Suicide May Triple While in Jail: StudyCancer Diagnosis May Quadruple Suicide RiskParents Often Unaware of Kids' Suicidal ThoughtsSuicide Risk Rises Following Cancer DiagnosisEczema Can Drive People to Thoughts of Suicide: StudyThe Jobs That Carry the Highest Suicide RiskConcussion Tied to Suicide RiskHe Lost His Son at Sandy Hook -- Now He Wants You to Know the Warning SignsGuns End More Lives by Suicide Than MurderHealth Tip: Warning Signs of SuicideChronic Pain May Drive Some to Suicide1 in 5 College Students So Stressed They Consider SuicideSoldiers' Suicide Attempts Often Come Without Prior Mental Health DiagnosisU.S. Deaths From Suicide, Drugs Surpass DiabetesWhen Head Injuries Make Life Too Hard, Suicide Risk May RiseParents' Religious Beliefs May Affect Kids' Suicide Risk: StudyU.S. Murder, Suicide Rates Climbing AgainMedia Reports of Celeb Suicides May Trigger 'Copycat' TragediesCould Suicides Rise Along With Global Temperatures?U.S. Suicide Rates on the RiseRace May Play Role in Kids' Suicide RiskBig Rise Seen in U.S. Kids, Teens Attempting SuicideTeen Boys Who Attempt Suicide More Likely to Abuse as AdultsNew National Suicide Statistics at a Glance
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Bipolar Disorder
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Grief & Bereavement Issues
Death & Dying

Race May Play Role in Kids' Suicide Risk

HealthDay News
by -- Alan Mozes
Updated: May 21st 2018

new article illustration

MONDAY, May 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- It's generally assumed that suicide is more common among white kids in the United States than their black peers. But that's not the case among 5- to 12-year-olds, new research shows.

Black children in that young age group are about twice as likely to take their own lives as whites, the researchers found.

For older kids, the picture reverses: Black teens, aged 13 to 17, are half as likely to die by suicide as similarly aged white kids, the study authors said.

"Our findings provide further evidence of a significant age-related racial disparity in childhood suicide rates, and rebut the long-held perception that suicide rates are uniformly higher in whites than blacks in the United States," said lead author Jeff Bridge. He's director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.

The age-related racial difference in suicide rates did not change during the 15-year study period, suggesting it's not explained by the Great Recession, Bridge and his colleagues noted.

For the study, the investigators analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify youth suicides from 2001 to 2015.

Among kids aged 5 to 17, about 1,660 black children took their own lives, versus 13,300 whites, the findings showed.

Overall, the suicide rate was about 42 percent lower among black children. But the findings became more nuanced when the study team dug into specific age groups.

"The existing literature does not adequately describe the extent of age-related racial disparities in youth suicide, and understanding these differences is essential to creating targeted prevention efforts," Bridge said in a hospital news release.

The study cannot pinpoint why these apparent age differences exist. Bridge said future studies should look at whether risk and protective factors associated with white teen suicides are related to suicide in black youth.

It's also key, he added, to find out how these factors change throughout childhood and adolescence.

The findings were published in the May 21 issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

More information

There's more on suicide risk and children at the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.