Racial Variation in the Association between Suicidal History and Positive and Negative Urgency among American Children

Shervin Assari


Background: Positive and negative urgency reflect specific facets of impulsivity and correlate with several health-related risk behaviors such as aggression, substance use, and suicide. Less is known about how positive and negative urgency are associated with suicidal behaviors of diverse racial groups.

Aim: To investigate racial differences in the positive associations between positive and negative urgency and suicide in children in US.

Materials and methods: This longitudinal study used the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Participants were 10535 American children between ages 9 and 10 years old who were followed for up to one year. The independent variable was suicide history. The primary outcomes were the positive and negative urgency measured by the Urgency, Premeditation (lack of), Perseverance (lack of), Sensation Seeking, Positive Urgency, Impulsive Behavior Scale (UPPS-SS). Mixed-effects regression models were used for data analysis.

Results: In the overall sample, suicidality was associated with positive and negative urgency in children. Race showed a statistically significant interaction with suicidality on children’s positive and negative urgency, indicating stronger effects of suicidality on positive and negative urgency for White, compared to Black and Other/Mixed race children respectively.

Conclusion: The effects of positive and negative urgency for suicidality of American children depend on race. White American children show the strongest links between positive and negative urgency and risk of suicide, while the effects of positive and negative urgency on children suicide are weaker for Black and Other/Mixed race children.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v4n4p39


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