Racial/ethnic discrimination and suicide-related risk in a treatment-seeking group of ethnoracially minoritized adolescents

Lillian Polanco-Roman, Ryan C.T. DeLapp, Melissa N. Dackis, Chantel T. Ebrahimi, Katherine S.W. Mafnas, Vilma Gabbay, Sandra S. Pimentel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction and aims: Despite growing evidence demonstrating the negative mental health effects of racism-related experiences, racial/ethnic discrimination is seldom examined in youth suicide risk. The present study tested the association between racial/ethnic discrimination and well-supported correlates of suicide-related risk including emotion reactivity and dysregulation, and severity of psychiatric symptoms in a sample of ethnoracially minoritized adolescents receiving outpatient psychiatric services. Methods: Participants were adolescents (N = 46; 80.4% female; 65.2% Latinx) who ranged in age from 13-20 years old (M=15.42; SD=1.83) recruited from a child outpatient psychiatry clinic in a low-resourced community in Northeast US. Youth completed a clinical interview and a battery of surveys. Results: Findings from separate linear regression models show that increases in frequency of racial/ethnic discrimination were associated with increases in severity of suicidal ideation (SI), independent of emotion reactivity and dysregulation, and symptoms of PTSD and depression. Discriminatory experiences involving personal insults, witnessing family being discriminated, and school-based contexts were uniquely associated with SI. Discussion and conclusion: Preliminary findings support the association between racial/ethnic discrimination and increased severity of suicide-related risk in ethnoracially minoritized adolescents. Accounting for racial/ethnic discrimination may improve the cultural responsiveness of youth suicide prevention strategies within outpatient psychiatric care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • emotion dysregulation
  • emotion reactivity
  • Racial/ethnic discrimination
  • suicide ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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