What Can Be Learned From Differing Rates of Suicide Among Groups

January 5, 2021

U.S. suicide rates vary widely across racial and ethnic groups in ways that can upend expectations. The explanations may suggest avenues for prevention.

Suicide in America has been rising for two decades, with rates for white Americans consistently well above those for Asian-Americans, Black Americans and Hispanics.

…factors may help protect Black Americans from suicide, despite conditions that would seem to place them at higher risk. Dawne Mouzon, a sociologist and associate professor at Rutgers University, suggested that religious involvement is one source of protection. Black Americans overwhelmingly identify as Christian. “Because of their faith, Black Americans are more likely to believe suicide precludes reaching heaven after death,” she said.

New York Times, December 30, 2020

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