Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Family Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2 Department of Urban Public Health, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

3 Marginalization-Related Diminished Returns (MDRs) Research Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

4 Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), Columbia University, New York, NY 10027-5927, USA

5 Columbia University School of Social Work, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027-5927, USA

6 Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health (CRECH), School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

7 Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA

Abstract

Background: High income is a protective factor against suicidality for children, youth, and adults, however, recent research has documented weaker health effects of high income for Black than White individuals, a pattern also called marginalization-related diminished returns (MDRs).
Objectives: In this study, we tested racial variation in the association between high income and suicidality in a national sample of 9-10-year-old Black and White American children.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which included 7298 White or Black children between the ages of 9 and 10. Of all the participants, 5652 were White and 1646 were Black. The predictor variable was family income, treated as a continuous measure. Race was the moderator. The outcome variable was suicidality, treated as a dummy variable, reflecting any positive suicidal thoughts or behaviors endorsed over the life-course. Covariates included sex, age, family structure (parental marital status), parental education, trauma, history of depression, neighborhood poverty, and family conflict. Logistic regression was used for data analysis.
Results: Overall, family income was inversely associated with children’s suicidality, net of all covariates. A statistically significant interaction was found between race and family income, suggesting that the inverse association between family income and suicidality is weaker in Black than White children.
Conclusion: The observed weaker association between income and suicidality in Black than White children suggests that family income does not provide the same protection against suicidality for Black as White children.

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