Individual Characteristics and Precipitating Circumstances of Suicide in Black and Non-Black Decedents Stratified by Age Group in 17 US States, 2003–2012

Characteristic or Precipitating CircumstanceChildren (n = 87)Early Adolescents (n = 606)
Black (n = 32)Non-Black (n = 55)PBlack (n = 70)Non-Black (n = 536)P
Suicide method.03.002
 Hanging, strangulation, or suffocation3093.84072.75682.433161.8
 Poisoning and other methodsa13.147.334.4366.7
Injury occurred at decedent’s residence.14.19
Precipitating circumstancesb
 Boyfriend/girlfriend problemc0000NA46.78017.2.04
 Other relationship problemd1651.63166.0.212338.321947.0.21
 Perpetrator of interpersonal violence13.200.4011.751.1.52
 Victim of interpersonal violence0012.1>.9935.0122.6.40
 Recent criminal legal problem0012.1>.9923.3245.2.76
 Other legal problem0012.1>.990091.9.61
 Physical health problem13.224.3>.9900153.2.24
 School problem825.81736.2.342745.015433.0.07
 Recent crisis1548.41531.9.142338.316836.1.73
 Death of friend or family member26.500.1658.3214.5.20
Suicide-related circumstancesb
 History of suicide attempt412.948.5.71915.07115.2.96
 Suicide intent disclosed929.01429.8.941220.014030.0.11
 Suicide note26.548.5>.99711.715232.6.001
 Recent suicide of friend or family member0012.1>.9923.3245.2.76
Mental health characteristicb
 Current mental health problem1032.31736.2.722236.716134.5.75
 Current mental health treatment722.61123.4.931525.012627.0.74
 History of mental health treatment825.81940.4.181728.315132.4.52
 Current depressed mood516.1817.0.921931.714531.1.93
  • NVDRS participating states (and years) were as follows: Alaska, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia (2003–2012); Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin (2004–2012); Kentucky, New Mexico, and Utah (2005–2012); and Ohio (2010–2012). NA, not applicable.

  • a Other suicide methods included fall, transportation-related, drowning, cut/pierce, fire/burn, and unspecified methods.

  • b Precipitating circumstances were known in 31 black and 47 non-black child decedents and in 60 black and 466 non-black early adolescent decedents. Number and percentages are reported; reference group is not present.

  • c No children experienced boyfriend/girlfriend problems, and the test statistic could therefore not be computed.

  • d Suicide deaths related to friction or conflict with friends or family.