Youth Reporting Discrimination Face Higher Risk for Subsequent Suicidal Ideation

The risk for suicide was nearly 5 times higher for youth reporting 2 or more forms of discrimination.

HealthDay News Self-reported experiences of discrimination increase youth’s risk for suicidal ideation a year later, according to a study published online July 28 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Arielle T. Pearlman, from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues used data from 10,312 participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study to examine associations between perceived discrimination and suicidality in youth.

The researchers found that when adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, family income, lifetime depressive disorders, and body composition, discrimination based on weight (odds ratio [OR], 2.19), race/ethnicity/color (OR, 3.21), and sexual orientation (OR, 3.83) was associated with greater odds of reporting suicidality one year later (ps < 0.025). There was no association between nationality-based discrimination and suicidality. Youths reporting discrimination based on two or more attributes had even greater odds of recent suicidality (OR, 4.72; P < 0.001) compared with those reporting no discrimination.

“Given that discrimination may be linked with suicidality beginning in childhood, clinicians should take special care to assess discrimination and victimization among youth,” write the authors.

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