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Police killings and suicide among Black Americans

Kyriopoulos, Ilias, Vandoros, Sotiris and Kawachi, Ichiro (2022) Police killings and suicide among Black Americans. Social Science and Medicine, 305. ISSN 0277-9536

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114964


Black Americans are killed at higher rates by police than whites. Previous studies have shown that discrimination can lead to suicidal ideation, and that mental health of Black Americans deteriorates after police killings. The objective of this study is to examine whether police killings are associated with an increase in suicide rates amongst Black Americans. Controlling for a number of factors, we found that on months with at least one killing of a Black person by police, there were, on average, 0.0472 additional suicides per 100,000 Black Americans in the U.S. Census Division where the killing occurred. We did not find any spillover effects on other divisions. This association persisted when controlling for gun ownership, and did not seem to be a result of variance in deaths by assault. There was no association between killings of Black Americans and white suicides; white killings and Black suicides; or white killings and white suicides. This study highlights another reason for urgent action on reducing police killings.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 14:24
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 03:00

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