Study: Suicide Rate Doubles For Black Children 5–11 Years Old

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Empty swings (Stuart Herbert/Flickr)
Empty swings (Stuart Herbert/Flickr)

The suicide rate among young black children has nearly doubled over the last two decades, even as it declined for white children in the same age group. The disturbing finding marks the first time ever that suicide rates among blacks of any age have exceeded those of their white counterparts.

The data on suicides among kids between the ages of 5 and 11 were gathered between 2003 and 2012. The results were shocking enough that researchers decided to hold off for a whole year to gather more data before releasing their findings, to be sure that they weren't misinterpreting anything.

The study, "Suicide Trends Among Elementary School–Aged Children in the United States," is published in this week's JAMA Pediatrics. Lead author Jeffrey Bridge is an epidemiologist at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss his findings.


  • Jeffrey Bridge, epidemiologist for the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio.

This segment aired on May 21, 2015.



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