Extended family and friendship support and suicidality among African Americans
- 539 Downloads
This study examined the relationship between informal social support from extended family and friends and suicidality among African Americans.
Logistic regression analysis was based on a nationally representative sample of African Americans from the National Survey of American Life (N = 3263). Subjective closeness and frequency of contact with extended family and friends and negative family interaction were examined in relation to lifetime suicide ideation and attempts.
Subjective closeness to family and frequency of contact with friends were negatively associated with suicide ideation and attempts. Subjective closeness to friends and negative family interaction were positively associated with suicide ideation and attempts. Significant interactions between social support and negative interaction showed that social support buffers against the harmful effects of negative interaction on suicidality.
Findings are discussed in relation to the functions of positive and negative social ties in suicidality.
KeywordsFamily Friendship Suicide Informal social support
The preparation of this manuscript was supported by Grants from the National Institute on Aging to Ann W. Nguyen (P30AG043073) and Robert Joseph Taylor (P30AG1528) and from the National Institute for General Medicine to Linda M. Chatters (NIGMS R25GM058641-15).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- 1.Curtin SC, Warner M, Hedegaard H (2016) Increase in suicide in the US: 1999–2014. NCHS Data Brief No. 241. National Center for Health Statistics, HyattsvilleGoogle Scholar
- 3.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015) Understanding suicide. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/suicide_factsheet-a.pdf. Accessed 3 Mar 2015
- 5.Joiner T (2007) Why people die by suicide. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- 10.Compton MT, Thompson NJ, Kaslow NJ (2005) Social environment factors associated with suicide attempt among low-income African Americans: the protective role of family relationships and social support. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 40(3):175–185. doi: 10.1007/s00127-005-0865-6 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 15.Lincoln KD, Chae DH (2012) Emotional support, negative interaction and major depressive disorder among African Americans and Caribbean Blacks: findings from the National Survey of American Life. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 47(3):361–372. doi: 10.1007/s00127-011-0347-y CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 16.Taylor RJ, Chae DH, Lincoln KD, Chatters LM (2015) Extended family and friendship support networks are both protective and risk factors for major depressive disorder and depressive symptoms among African-Americans and Black Caribbeans. J Nerv Ment Dis 203(2):132–140. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000249 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 20.Gray BA, Keith VM (2003) The benefits and costs of social support for African American women. In: Brown DR, Keith VM (eds) In and out of our rights minds: the mental health of African American women. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 242–257Google Scholar
- 24.Jackson JS, Torres M, Caldwell CH, Neighbors HW, Nesse RM, Taylor RJ, Trierweiler SJ, Williams DR (2004) The National Survey of American Life: a study of racial, ethnic and cultural influences on mental disorders and mental health. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 13(4):196–207. doi: 10.1002/mpr.177 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 25.Levine DS, Taylor RJ, Nguyen AW, Chatters LM, Himle JA (2015) Family and friendship informal support networks and social anxiety disorder among African Americans and Black Caribbeans. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 50(7):1121–1133. doi: 10.1007/s00127-015-1023-4 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar