Suicides among US children aged 5-11 remained steady overall between 1993 and 2012, according to a study in JAMA Pediatrics. However, the researchers noted, the suicide rates dropped among white children, and increased significantly among black children.
“Between 1993 and 2012, a total of 657 children aged 5 to 11 years died by suicide in the United States, with 553 (84%) who were boys and 104 (16%) who were girls,” stated the Ohio-based researchers. “Although there was no significant change in the overall suicide rate throughout the study period, there was a significant increase in the suicide rate among black children and a significant decline in the suicide rate among white children.”
The researchers found that the suicide rate among black children rose from 1.36 to 2.54 per 1 million over the time period, while it decreased among white children from 1.14 to 0.77 per 1 million. “Further studies are needed to monitor these emerging trends and identify risk, protective, and precipitating factors relevant to suicide prevention efforts in children younger than 12 years,” they wrote.
Bridge JA, Asti L, Horowitz LM, et al. Suicide Trends Among Elementary School–Aged Children in the United States From 1993 to 2012. JAMA Pediatr. Published online May 18, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0465. (Full text)