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Black children commit suicide at twice the rate of white kids

After age 12, the pattern flips and suicide occurs more frequently among white children

By
9:00am, May 22, 2018
depressed youth

HOW TO HELP  New evidence shows that young black kids have higher suicide rates than those of their white peers. Further work is needed to understand why and what preventative efforts could help, researchers say.

Suicide rates for children ages 5 to 12 are roughly twice as high for black children as for white children, according to new data. But for adolescents ages 13 to 17, the pattern flips, with white kids having higher suicide rates, researchers report online May 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.

The new study is based on an analysis of suicide rates among children ages 5 to 17 from 2001 to 2015. Suicide was relatively rare among young children, the scientists found, but rates for both black and white kids in the United States increased with age.

“We really need to understand what are the risk and protective factors for not only suicide, but suicidal behavior in young people of color,” says study coauthor Jeff Bridge, an epidemiologist at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Most studies investigating psychological or

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