Suicide and Young African-American Males


It is not well known that the incidences of suicide among African-American male youth recently took an uncharacteristic turn. From 1980 to 1995, the suicide rates for Black youth ages 10 to 19 increased from 2.1 to 4.5 per 100,000, an increase of 114 percent. The rate increased the most for Blacks ages 10 to 14 years (233 percent) compared with a 120 percent increase for Whites. Among Blacks aged 15 to 19 years the suicide rates increased 128 percent, compared with 19 percent for Whites (CDC, 1998). According to Barnes and Bell (2003) by 1998, the rates for Black males aged 15 to 24 decreased from the 1994 rate of 21 per 100,000 to 15 per 100,000. This current decrease is reflective of an early 1980s level. The reasons for this unprecedented increase in the 1980s and early 1990s are unknown but by 1998, it had subsided. Currently, the suicide rates for African-American males between the ages of 15 and 24, is the third-leading cause of death (after homicide and unintentional injuries)

Publication Title

Mental Health Care in the African-American Community