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Int J Prev Med. 2015 Jun 17;6:53. doi: 10.4103/2008-7802.158913. eCollection 2015.

Ethnic and Gender Differences in Additive Effects of Socio-economics, Psychiatric Disorders, and Subjective Religiosity on Suicidal Ideation among Blacks.

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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, MI, USA ; Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, MI, USA ; Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, MI, USA.



This study aimed to investigate the additive effects of socio-economic factors, number of psychiatric disorders, and religiosity on suicidal ideation among Blacks, based on the intersection of ethnicity and gender.


With a cross-sectional design, data came from the National Survey of American Life, 2001-2003, which included 3570 African-American and 1621 Caribbean Black adults. Socio-demographics, perceived religiosity, number of lifetime psychiatric disorders and lifetime suicidal ideation were measured. Logistic regressions were fitted specific to groups based on the intersection of gender and ethnicity, while socioeconomics, number of life time psychiatric disorders, and subjective religiosity were independent variables, and lifetime serious suicidal ideation was the dependent variable.


Irrespective of ethnicity and gender, number of lifetime psychiatric disorders was a risk factor for lifetime suicidal ideation (odds ratio [OR] ranging from 2.4 for Caribbean Black women to 6.0 for Caribbean Black men). Only among African-American men (OR = 0.8, 95% confidence interval = 0.7-0.9), perceived religiosity had a residual protective effect against suicidal ideation above and beyond number of lifetime psychiatric disorders. The direction of the effect of education on suicidal ideating also varied based on the group.


Residual protective effect of subjective religiosity in the presence of psychiatric disorders on suicidal ideation among Blacks depends on ethnicity and gender. African-American men with multiple psychiatric disorders and low religiosity are at very high risk for suicidal ideation.


African-Americans; ethnic groups; gender; psychiatric disorder; religion and psychology; suicide

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