Gender and racial differences for suicide attempters and ideators in a high-risk community corrections population
McCullumsmith, C.B., Clark, C.B., Perkins, A., Fife, J., & Cropsey, K.L.
Background: Community corrections populations are a high-risk group who carry multiple suicide risk factors. Aims: To identify factors correlated with historical suicide attempts and ideation among African-American men, African-American women, White men, and White women in a community corrections population. Method: Self-report data from 18,753 enrollees in community corrections were analyzed. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine associations between historical suicidal ideation and attempts among the four demographic groups. Results: Participants with historical suicide attempts tended to be younger, White, female, be taking psychotropic medication, have a history of physical or sexual abuse, and meet criteria for dependence on alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, opioids, or sedatives. Five variables were commonly associated with suicide attempts for all four race/gender groups: younger age, being on disability or retirement, taking psychotropic medication, history of sexual or physical abuse, and cocaine dependence. Other demographic variables had race or gender specificities as risk factors for suicide attempts. Conclusions: Participants had high rates of historical suicide attempts with unique correlates differentiating attempters from ideators among different racial and gender groups. Cocaine dependence was universal predictor of suicide attempts, while other substance dependencies show specific racial and gender profiles associated with suicide attempts.