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Presentation Time: 11:30-11:50
Home University: UNC-Chapel Hill
Research Mentor: Andrea Hussong, Psychology
Program: McNair
Research Title: The Role of Indirect Exposure to Police Violence in Black Adolescent Suicidality

Exposure to racism may negatively impact psychological well-being among Black adolescents, for whom suicide rates have risen within the past decade. Using data from public data archives (i.e., the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the Mapping Police Violence database), the association between indirect exposure to racism due to living in a state with higher police killings of Black Americans and youth self-reported suicide risk and behavior, particularly for Black youth, was tested. The analysis sample included 6201 Black and white high school students (22.4 % Black; 48.4% Male). Results of six multilevel models showed that indirect exposure to police killings of Black individuals was not significantly predictive of suicide risk and behavior, but when indirect exposure was defined as the rate of Black people killed by police in a state, Black participants who lived in states with higher rates were more likely to report suicidality in comparison to white participants living in those states. Findings indicate that police violence against Black Americans may negatively affect Black adolescent mental health.