Black boys between the ages of 5 to 12 are committing suicide at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group, according to NBC News.
This latest data is provided by Dr. Michael Lindsey, the executive director of New York University’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research. Additionally, according to a recent study in the Journal of Community Health, the suicide rates among Black girls ages 13-19 nearly doubled from 2001 to 2017. For Black boys in the same age group, over the same period, rates rose 60 percent, NBC News reports.
Tragically, this is not a new or emerging trend. According to a 2015 study from Jeffrey Bridge, PhD, director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, co-authors, and researchers from the National Institutes of Health, the stable overall suicide rate in children ages five to 11 in the United States during the course of almost 20 years of study [between 1993 – 1997 and 2008 – 2012] obscured a terrible truth. The suicide incidence in Black children during the period nearly doubled going from 1.36 to 2.54 per million.
“These findings highlight a potential racial disparity that warrants attention,” Bridges said.
Further research found that of the 1,661 Black children ages five to 17 who committed suicide between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2015, 1,225 [73.8 percent] were boys, and 436 [23.2 percent] were girls.
“Black children may experience disproportionate exposure to violence and traumatic stress and aggressive school discipline. Black children are also more likely to experience an early onset of puberty, which increases the risk of suicide, most likely owing to the greater liability to depression and impulsive aggression. Black youth are also less likely to seek help for depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts,” researchers concluded.
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