Rising Suicides in Black Children with ADHD: The Role of Discrimination (HOOD Study)

Suicide presents as a serious public health concern, and alarmingly, Black school-aged children are now twice as likely as their white peers to die from suicide, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common psychiatric disorder associated with these suicides1.Under-diagnosis and under-treatment of ADHD combined with other stressors disproportionately affect many Black children (such as poverty and exposure to community violence), of which increase their risk for poor outcomes related to ADHD, including suicide.

The widening racial disparity in both suicide rates and the disproportionate attention to ADHD in Black children urgently demands for research to explain the rising suicide rates to develop effective prevention strategies that target this vulnerable group of children.

With a lack of suicide prevention strategies targeting Black youth, this project aims to understand the higher risk of suicidality among Black school-aged children with ADHD to develop suicide prevention strategies tailored for this specific population. The project also seeks to examine the relationship between discrimination and suicidality among Black school-aged children with an ADHD diagnosis, since they may be subject to both racial discrimination and ADHD-related discrimination (ADHD stigma).

We are currently recruiting children between the ages of 5-11 with an ADHD diagnosis or attention problems for our study.

  1. Sheftall AH, Asti L, Horowitz LM, et al. Suicide in Elementary School-Aged Children and Early Adolescents. Pediatrics. 2016;138(4). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-0436