African American and Caucasian attempters compared for suicide risk factors: a preliminary study

Suicide Life Threat Behav. Winter 2003;33(4):443-7. doi: 10.1521/suli.33.4.443.25228.


The aim of the study was to compare African American and Caucasian substance dependent suicide attempters for risk factors for suicidal behavior. One hundred and fifty-eight African American and 95 Caucasian substance dependent patients who had attempted suicide were interviewed and their family history of suicidal behavior recorded. Patients completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and the Foulds Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire. The results revealed that there were no significant differences between the African American and Caucasian suicide attempters for marital status, age, childhood abuse, or for personality scores for neuroticism, extraversion, psychoticism, or hostility. However, the African American attempters had significantly lower childhood emotional neglect scores. Also, significantly more of the Caucasian attempters had a family history of suicide and current legal problems. Further studies seem warranted examining for differences between African Americans and Caucasians for risk factors for suicidal behavior.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New Jersey / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / ethnology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Suicide, Attempted / statistics & numerical data
  • Whites / psychology*