This project was funded by the National Institute for Mental Health (F31 MH074242-01). The manuscript was adapted from the author's dissertation, The Help Not Taken: Youth Suicidality and Mental Health Service Use, which was completed as a doctoral student at Washington University in St. Louis.
Racial Disparities in Mental Health Service Use by Adolescents Who Thought About or Attempted Suicide
Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2010
2007 The American Association for Suicidology
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 22–34, February 2007
How to Cite
Freedenthal, S. (2007), Racial Disparities in Mental Health Service Use by Adolescents Who Thought About or Attempted Suicide. Suicide and Life-Threat Behavi, 37: 22–34. doi: 10.1521/suli.2007.37.1.22
The author thanks Arlene Rubin Stiffman, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis for her excellent feedback and support.
- Issue online: 31 DEC 2010
- Version of Record online: 31 DEC 2010
- Manuscript Received: November 30, 2005; Revision Accepted: May 10, 2006
Differences in rates and predictors of mental health service use among 2,226 Black, Hispanic, and White adolescents (aged 12–17) who reported recent suicidal thoughts or an attempt were examined. Black adolescents were 65% (OR = .65, p < .05), and Hispanic adolescents were 55% (OR = .55, p < .001), as likely as White adolescents to report service use, even when controlling for need for care and ability to secure services. Suicide attempt and psychiatric symptoms each interacted with race to increase the odds of service use uniquely for White adolescents. Results indicate that racial disparities characterize adolescents' mental health service use even when suicide risk increases.