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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1996 Winter;26(4):325-41.

Protective factors for suicidal black females.

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Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina, Columbia 29208, USA.


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the extent to which a model of social support may help explain the low suicide rate of Black females. The data are taken from the National Institute of Mental Health's Epidemiological Catchment Area Study 1980-1985 (United States). The LISREL model examines the direct and indirect effects of the background characteristics on attempted suicide as mediated by emotional state. Results indicate evidence that for Black and White males and females, finding emotional and psychological support in friends and family members helps to safeguard against suicide. The most substantial finding is that for all all race/sex categories, seeking support from friendship and familial resources is negatively related to attempted suicide, whereas seeking support from professional resources is associated with an increase in the likelihood of a suicide attempt. This increased likelihood of attempted suicide may be reflecting populations members' resistance to seeking professional help until their emotional state has severely deteriorated.

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