Rowell, Kyrel Lashea (2007-05). Investigating factors associated with suicide and antecedent behavior among African American males: a quest to preserve life. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Suicide is a multifaceted issue and its prevention requires addressing multiple contributors. Currently, it is the third leading cause of death worldwide for those ages 15-44, the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States, and the eighth leading cause of death among U. S. men. Among African American males aged 20-44, suicide is the third, fifth, and sixth leading cause of death, respectively, when categorizing the age groups as follows: 20-24, 25-34, 35-44. Given the published data, a public health focus exists regarding suicide prevention among racial/ethnic minorities and vulnerable populations. The jail population is especially vulnerable to suicide. Few studies have focused, however, on addressing suicidal behavior among African American males, in general, nor those incarcerated. To reinforce prevention, a need exists to examine preceding behavior to suicide, specifically suicide attempts. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to investigate risk and protective factors associated with suicide and suicide attempts among African American males, including those that are incarcerated. To fulfill the purpose, two components were executed: a systematic literature review and an empirical study. Within the empirical study, two research questions were designed to illuminate differences regarding sociodemographic, criminal, and psychosocial characteristics between Black male suicide attempters and Black male non-attempters, White male attempters, and Black female attempters. Data from the 2002 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails was used for analysis. Results from the literature review indicated nine suicidal risk and protective factors for African American males. The empirical study isolated three suicidal protective factors (completing at least a high school or college education, drug trafficking) and two risk factors (depression and mental disorders) that differentiated African American male suicide attempters from non-attempters. Preventing suicides can occur by preventing the first attempt or preventing recurrent attempts. The dissertation provides critical information to assist in accomplishing this endeavor by illuminating risk and protective factors. Suicide research requires public health attention and intervention. Moreover, a collaborative approach is necessary. Research and practice efforts must begin now to thwart the increasing rate of suicide among adult African American males.
  • Suicide is a multifaceted issue and its prevention requires addressing multiple
    contributors. Currently, it is the third leading cause of death worldwide for those ages
    15-44, the eleventh leading cause of death in the United States, and the eighth leading
    cause of death among U. S. men. Among African American males aged 20-44, suicide is
    the third, fifth, and sixth leading cause of death, respectively, when categorizing the age
    groups as follows: 20-24, 25-34, 35-44.
    Given the published data, a public health focus exists regarding suicide
    prevention among racial/ethnic minorities and vulnerable populations. The jail
    population is especially vulnerable to suicide. Few studies have focused, however, on
    addressing suicidal behavior among African American males, in general, nor those
    incarcerated. To reinforce prevention, a need exists to examine preceding behavior to
    suicide, specifically suicide attempts.
    Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation was to investigate risk and protective
    factors associated with suicide and suicide attempts among African American males,
    including those that are incarcerated. To fulfill the purpose, two components were executed: a systematic literature review and an empirical study. Within the empirical
    study, two research questions were designed to illuminate differences regarding sociodemographic,
    criminal, and psychosocial characteristics between Black male suicide
    attempters and Black male non-attempters, White male attempters, and Black female
    attempters. Data from the 2002 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails was used for analysis.
    Results from the literature review indicated nine suicidal risk and protective
    factors for African American males. The empirical study isolated three suicidal
    protective factors (completing at least a high school or college education, drug
    trafficking) and two risk factors (depression and mental disorders) that differentiated
    African American male suicide attempters from non-attempters. Preventing suicides can
    occur by preventing the first attempt or preventing recurrent attempts. The dissertation
    provides critical information to assist in accomplishing this endeavor by illuminating
    risk and protective factors. Suicide research requires public health attention and
    intervention. Moreover, a collaborative approach is necessary. Research and practice
    efforts must begin now to thwart the increasing rate of suicide among adult African
    American males.

publication date

  • May 2007