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Suicide in African American Adolescents: Understanding Risk by Studying Resilience
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology  (IF18.561),  Pub Date : 2022-05-09, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-072220-021819
W. LaVome Robinson, Christopher R. Whipple, Kate Keenan, Caleb E. Flack, LaRicka Wingate

Historically, suicide rates for African American adolescents have been low, relative to rates for youth of other racial-ethnic backgrounds. Since 2001, however, suicide rates among African American adolescents have escalated: Suicide is now the third leading cause of death for African American adolescents. This disturbing trend warrants focused research on suicide etiology and manifestation in African American adolescents, along with culturally sensitive and effective prevention efforts. First, we revisit leading suicide theories and their relevance for African American adolescents. Next, we discuss health promotive and protective factors within the context of African American youth development. We also critique the current status of suicide risk assessment and prevention for African American adolescents. Then, we present a heuristic model of suicide risk and resilience for African American adolescents that considers their development within a hegemonic society. Finally, we recommend future directions for African American adolescent suicidology.