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Since the 1990s, suicide rates among elementary-age black children have nearly doubled, while suicide rates among white children have fallen, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The study examined statistics for children between the ages of 5 and 11 from 1993 to 2012, and found that while the overall suicide rate among this age group remained stable, the rate increased significantly among black children (from 1.36 to 2.54 per 1 million children), and decreased significantly among white children (from 1.14 to 0.77 per 1 million children), during the same period. While the suicide rates among elementary-age children in general are relatively low compared to the number of suicides committed by adolescents and adults, these statistics are significant because they explore a little-studied demographic and because they show the reversal of a trend.

“Most of what we know is about depression in adult samples,” Dr. Shervin Assari, a research investigator at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry who was not involved in the new study, told The Huffington Post. “The very important contribution of this paper is not because of its impact or the size of the problem. It is about trends.”

Historically, black individuals in the United States had lower suicide rates than white individuals across all age groups, and suicide was largely considered a white problem. “It’s a very interesting but unfortunate trend, which suggests that’s not the case anymore,” Assari said.

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