Article

Prevalence of and risk factors for lifetime suicide attempts among Blacks in the United States

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 12/2006; 296(17):2112-23. DOI: 10.1001/jama.296.17.2112
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lack of data on the lifetime prevalence and age at onset of suicide ideation, plans, and attempts among blacks in the United States limits the creation and evaluation of interventions to reduce suicide among black Americans.
To examine the prevalence and correlates of suicide ideation, planning, and attempts across 2 ethnic classifications of blacks in a nationally representative sample.
Data are from the National Survey of American Life, a national household probability sample of 5181 black respondents aged 18 years and older, conducted between February 2001 and June 2003, using a slightly modified adaptation of the World Health Organization World Mental Health version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Bivariate and survival analyses were used to delineate patterns and correlates of nonfatal suicidal behavior.
Self-reports of lifetime suicide ideation, planning, and attempts.
Survey respondents, categorized as African Americans and Caribbean Americans, reported lifetime prevalence of 11.7% for suicide ideation and 4.1% for attempts. Among the respondents who reported ideation, 34.6% transitioned to making a plan and only 21% made an unplanned attempt. Among 4 ethnic-sex groups, the 7.5% lifetime prevalence for attempts among Caribbean black men was the highest among black Americans. The greatest risk of progressing to suicide planning or attempt among ideators occurred within the first year after ideation onset. Blacks at higher risk for suicide attempts were in younger birth cohorts, less educated, Midwest residents, and had 1 or more Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition disorders.
This study documents the burden of nonfatal suicidality among US blacks, notably Caribbean black men, and individuals making planned attempts. Advancing research on the transition from suicide planning to attempt is vital to the efficacy of health care professionals' ability to screen blacks at risk for suicide.

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    • "suicidal African-American women's positive expectancies about their ability to cope with future events as a means of preventing suicide attempts. Finally, the results indicate that reasons for living are associated with suicidal intent above and beyond spiritual well-being and symptoms of depression, both of which have been previously demonstrated as key factors in determining suicide risk (e.g., Griffin-Fennell and Williams, 2006; Joe et al., 2006; Kaslow et al., 2004; 2006; Meadows et al., 2005). This finding suggests that the capacity to generate and contemplate adaptive reasons for valuing life may protect African- American women from experiencing moderate to high levels of suicidal intent, even more so than spirituality and religiosity do. "
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    ABSTRACT: African-American women are at high risk for suicide ideation and suicide attempts and use emergency psychiatric services at disproportionately high rates relative to men and other ethnic groups. However, suicide death rates are low for this population. Cultural variables in the African-American community may promote resilience and prevent fatal suicidal behavior among African-American women. The present study evaluated self-reported reasons for living as a protective factor against suicidal intent and suicide attempt lethality in a sample of African-American female suicide attempters (n = 150). Regression analyses revealed that reasons for living were negatively associated with suicidal intent, even after controlling for spiritual well-being and symptoms of depression. These results indicate that the ability to generate and contemplate reasons for valuing life may serve as a protective characteristic against life-threatening suicidal behavior among African-American women. Implications for research and clinical practice are further discussed.
    Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 07/2014; 202(8). DOI:10.1097/NMD.0000000000000170 · 1.81 Impact Factor
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    Industrial psychiatry journal 07/2013; 22(2):118-24. DOI:10.4103/0972-6748.132924
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    • "We currently have a limited understanding of the combinations of culturally specific experiences and social psychological characteristics associated with suicide risk and resiliency among African American women, prompting calls for additional research in this area (Joe et al. 2006; Poussaint and Alexander 2000). The existing literature points to the fundamental role of social statuses in the patterning of mental health outcomes, with differential exposure to stressors and access to coping resources as intervening mechanisms (Phelan et al. 2010). "
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