Factors associated with suicide among African American adult men: a systematic review of the literature Academic Article uri icon


  • The suicide prevalence rate among African American men continues to be lower than Caucasian men, yet an increasing rate of suicide completions among African American men is evident. If the current upward trend persists, the suicide rates among African American men will rival that of Caucasian men. Central to suicide prevention in African American men is an increased examination and understanding of risk and protective factors. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to systematically and critically review the existing literature regarding factors associated with completed suicide among African American adult men. Using the Garrard matrix method, 266 potential articles were identified through the search of 14 electronic databases and numerous reference lists. Quality assessment criteria were devised to evaluate the studies' merit and credibility. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, nine empirical studies specifying suicide risk and protective factors were identified. Within these nine studies, nine overarching factors were identified as being associated with suicide among African American adult men. The majority of factors identified were risk factors, with education and economic structure most frequently listed. Age was the only protective factor identified. The quality assessment indicated that published studies were quantitative, with the majority referencing Durkheim's theory on suicide, utilizing national data, and employing regression analyses. Results indicate that little research exists particularly regarding suicide protective factors among African American adult men. Additionally, methodological quality enhancement may be warranted. Specific areas for future research are provided. © 2008 WPMH GmbH.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rowell, K. L., Green, B. L., Guidry, J., & Eddy, J.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • December 2008