African American adolescent suicidal ideation and behavior: The role of racism and prevention

W. La Vome Robinson, Christopher R. Whipple, Leonard A. Jason, Caleb E. Flack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Suicide is one of the most devastating, yet preventable, health disparities for African American adolescents. African American adolescent suicidal ideation and behavior may have different manifestations and risk factors relative to those of adolescents from other ethnic backgrounds that impact prevention efforts. For example, in addition to more common manifestations of suicidal ideation and behavior, African American youth may engage in violent or high-risk behaviors, use more lethal means, or report ideation at lower depression levels. The Adapted-Coping with Stress Course (A-CWS), an adaptation of Gregory Clarke and colleagues' Coping with Stress Course, was developed to address the cultural nuances of African American adolescents. The A-CWS is a 15-session cognitive-behavioral, group-based preventive intervention that aims to enhance adaptive coping skills and reduce suicidal ideation, by incorporating strategies that counter stressors associated with systemic racism that burden African American adolescents. This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of the A-CWS intervention, using a sample of predominantly African American ninth-grade students. Results indicated that the adolescents were very favorable and receptive to the A-CWS intervention and that the intervention could be conducted feasibly. The A-CWS intervention serves as a model to advance culturally-grounded, evidence-based preventive intervention, for an underserved sector of adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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