Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Health Education

First Advisor

Gadzekpo, Leonard

Second Advisor

McDaniel, Justin


Suicide among African American children between the ages of five and eleven years old has steadily increased over the past several years and continues to do so. Furthermore, the completion of the secondary data analysis, including data stratification by Bridge et al. (2015), showed that the suicide rates for African American children consistently increased between 1993 and 1997 and from 2008 to 2012. The Bridge et al. study produced a hidden gem in the field of research, an unknown issue that was not thoroughly addressed starting over two decades ago because of the belief that White people of all ages commit suicide more than Black people. African American child suicide is a newer research topic to be addressed through multidisciplinary research. This current study contributes to the early stages of researching this topic of great concern by focusing on religion's impact on the communication and perceptions of suicidal ideation among single African American mothers with an integrative literature review analysis. The high number of single African American mothers in the United States today is a phenomenon influenced by historical events in African American culture that dates back to the beginning of slavery in the United States. Despite the constant strength found in religion, family, and emphasis on the importance of belonging, negative socially constructed ideas of African Americans have created an abundance of social issues that have burdened the structure of the African American family. In addition, stigma and shame continue to be associated with mental illness. Therefore, this study also examines the communication between single African American mothers and their children regarding suicidal ideation, with the constructs of perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of the Health Belief Model serving as the foundation for exploring the communication patterns.




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