Quantifying the Representation of Black Adolescents in Suicide Intervention Research

E. Sumlin, R. Hill, N. Asim, D. Busby, J. L. Brown, C. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This systematic review aimed to quantify the representation of Black youth in U.S. suicide intervention research. Specifically, we sought to evaluate Black youth representation in terms of (a) equity of inclusion (i.e., the inclusion of Black youth in research study samples at a rate consistent with the overall national rate of Black adolescents in the US) and (b) equity of intervention efficacy (i.e., evaluating the presence of racial disparities in intervention efficacy/effect sizes). In addition, we aimed to evaluate whether an association existed between funding status of research and representation of Black youth in studies, and to provide recommendations for future research in this area. To this end, the present study extracted and analyzed demographic information of studies included in recent meta-analyses conducted by Robinson and colleagues (2018), which were not previously analyzed, in addition to new literature published between September 2017 and January 2021. Results showed that the prevalence of Black youth included in studies was representative (14.67%; ntotal = 4451, nBlack = 664), with a median inclusion rate of 13%; however, absolute sample and group sizes were so small that it precluded comparison of differential treatment outcomes for Black youth. Thus, out of 22 studies identified, only one was able to investigate treatment outcomes for suicide in Black youth specifically. This study points to the conclusion that without adequately powered studies, disparities in treatment efficacy for Black youth cannot be compared or addressed, and the existing disparity in suicidal outcomes for Black youth will grow even larger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalResearch on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • Black youth
  • Intervention
  • Racial disparities
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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