Age-Related Racial Disparities in Suicide Rates among Youth Ages 5 to 17 Years

June 08, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


New findings suggest that racial differences in suicide rates among U.S. youth may be age-related. Using national data from 2001 to 2015, researchers found that suicide rates among 5- to 12-year-olds were about two times higher in Black children than White children. However, among 13- to 17-year-olds, suicide rates were 50 percent lower in Black children than White children. The latter trend mirrors the national average, in which suicide rates have typically been higher among Whites than Blacks across all age groups. The researchers cautioned that while these findings call attention to an important trend, they are unable to provide an explanation for it. “Future studies should try to find out whether risk and protective factors identified in studies of primarily white adolescent suicides are associated with suicide in Black youth and how these factors change throughout childhood and adolescence,” said Jeff Bridge, lead author and director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Spark Extra! Read the article abstract.