Longitudinal Associations Between Perceived Discrimination and Suicidality in Youth

Arielle T. Pearlman, Mikela A. Murphy, Sorana Raiciulescu, Nia Johnson, David A. Klein, Joshua C. Gray, Natasha A. Schvey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research among adults reveals robust associations between discrimination and suicidality. However, the relationship between discrimination and suicidality is understudied in youth. Participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (n = 10 312) completed a measure of discrimination based on multiple attributes. The Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia was administered 1 year later to assess depressive disorders and suicidality (ideation and behavior). Logistic regressions, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, family income, lifetime depressive disorders, and body composition were conducted. Adjusting for covariates, discrimination based on weight (OR: 2.19), race/ethnicity/color (OR: 3.21), and sexual orientation (OR: 3.83) were associated with greater odds of reporting suicidality 1 year later (ps < 0.025). Nationality-based discrimination was not significantly associated with suicidality. Compared with those reporting no discrimination, youths reporting discrimination based on 2 or more attributes had nearly 5 times greater odds of recent suicidality (OR: 4.72; P < .001). The current study highlights the deleterious impacts of discrimination on mental health among youths reporting multiple forms of discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113642
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • discrimination
  • suicidality
  • suicide
  • youth


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