Year: 1998 Source: Transcultural Psychiatry, v.35, no.2, (June 1998), p.253-269 SIEC No: 20010444

Traditional explanations of suicide are often unable to explain the low incidence of suicide among African Americans. Recent qualitative work has suggested that African American cultural definitions of suicide, derived from religion, may explain the low suicide risk among African Americans. This paper analyzes quantitative, national survey data to address this issue. The results of a multiple regression analysis shows only 1 indicator of religiosity, church attendance, significantly lowers suicide acceptability for both Black men and women. The strongest correlates of suicide acceptability are western residence for Black men & education level for Black women. The importance of the Black church in explaining low Black suicide acceptability may have been overestimated in previous research. (32 refs.)