Wilson's deindustrialization thesis has been the focus of much recent research. This study is the first to empirically test his thesis as it relates to suicide among young black males, which has increased dramatically over the past two decades. Using 1998-2001 Mortality Multiple Cause-of-Death Records and 2000 census data, we examine the influence of concentrated disadvantage on suicide among young black males across U.S. cities. After establishing its role in shaping suicide rates, we explore the extent to which industrial composition (the outcome of deindustrialization) affects concentrated disadvantage in urban communities. We perform similar analyses for whites to compare and contrast explanatory processes. Our findings show that while disadvantage is related to suicide for young black and white males, industrial composition only influences the structural covariates of suicide among blacks. These findings demonstrate the ability of Wilson's thesis to help explain a pressing social problem – rising rates of young black male suicide.


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pp. 1559-1579
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