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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1996 Winter;26(4):405-14.

The effect of marital integration on African American suicide.

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  • 1Department of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Research on the impact of marital integration on suicide has neglected race-specific analysis. Existing work has been marked by methodological problems and has thus found inconsistent results. The present paper is the first national study of the problem. In a logistic regression analysis of 2099 African American suicides and 1729 African American natural deaths, being divorced or widowed significantly raises the odds of death by suicide; being single does not. A parallel analysis for Whites finds greater support for a link between martial status and suicide. Marital status may be less important for African Americans in suicide prevention because extended family ties are stronger for African Americans than Whites.

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