An Assessment of the Role of Parental Incarceration and Substance Misuse in Suicidal Planning of African American Youth and Young Adults

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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Suicide rates among youth are increasing, and African American youth are becoming the most likely group to die by suicide in the USA. We utilized ecodevelopmental theory to investigate the relationship between parental incarceration and substance misuse and their association with suicidal planning in a sample of African American youth and young adults. Participants consisted of 190 African American youth and young adults living in public housing in a mid-Atlantic city in the USA who completed a youth health-risk behavior measure, and parental incarceration and substance misuse measures. Findings indicate males were significantly more likely than females to have devised a plan to die by suicide, especially if their mothers were incarcerated or their fathers had an alcohol problem. The findings of this study suggest several implications for health prevention and intervention efforts to reduce suicide-related risks among African American youth and young adults, including strategies that promote family-centered, evidence-based interventions that are culturally tailored to provide further insight into the best practices in suicide prevention.




Social Work

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Nebbitt, Von; Joe, Sean