Wadsworth, T., Kubrin, C. E., & Herting, J. R. (2014). Investigating the Rise (and Fall) of Young Black Male Suicide in the United States, 1982–2001. Journal of African American Studies, 18(1), 72 – 91.
Scholars and public health officials alike have expressed significant concern over the dramatic growth in suicide among young Black males. Work in this area has focused primarily on the 1980s and early 1990s as key evidence of this concern. In the current study, we use a longer time series from 1982 to 2001 to examine exactly what these suicide trends look like as well as how and why they vary across US cities. The findings show that trends are more complex than originally perceived, that despite an average national trend there is significant variation in suicide trajectories across cities, that the general rise in rates into the early 1990s was followed by a substantial decline by the turn of the century, and that concentrated disadvantage and gun availability emerge as important predictors of differences in trends across cities.
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