Preventing Suicide in African American Adolescents

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    DePaul University
Updated on 9 September 2023
behavior therapy
Accepts healthy volunteers


The overarching aim of the Success Over Stress Prevention Project is to reduce African American youth suicide. This study examines the impact of a 15-session, group-delivered, culturally-grounded, cognitive-behavioral intervention (i.e., PI Robinson's Adapted-Coping with Stress Course [A-CWS]), on the outcomes of interest, when it is delivered by social workers who are indigenous to the school system. The main objectives of this project are to (a) determine whether the intervention is effective when facilitated by social workers who are indigenous to the school system and (b) enhance resilience, increase adaptive coping strategies, and reduce both intrapersonal and interpersonal violence among youth receiving the prevention intervention. It is expected that increases in adaptive coping will lead to an increased ability for youth to manage stressors, thereby decreasing the incidence of suicide and violence among the youth. In addition, it is expected that evidence of the intervention's effectiveness, when facilitated by social workers who are indigenous to the school system, will lead to greater dissemination and sustainability of the intervention, thus, providing access to effective intervention resources to greater numbers of African American youth.


This study will establish the effectiveness of Robinson's Adapted-Coping with Stress Course (A-CWS) and test hypotheses pertaining to the mechanism of change by which the A-CWS reduces suicide risk. Additionally, this study is expected to augment current theoretical models of adolescent suicidality. This effectiveness trial will inform procedures for scaling up efficacious, high quality, and culturally-grounded suicide prevention programs for low-resourced, urban African American youth; as such, this study is practice relevant and expected to inform best practices for the prevention of suicide among African American adolescents. The specific aims are:

  1. To examine the effectiveness of the A-CWS intervention, as delivered by social workers who are indigenous to the school system, to reduce active suicidal ideation, within a sample of low-resourced, urban African American adolescents.
  2. To understand the mechanism by which the A-CWS intervention reduces suicide risk for low-resourced, urban African American adolescents.
  3. To establish the fidelity of an evidence-based, culturally-grounded coping with stress intervention (i.e., the A-CWS), developed for low-resourced, urban African American adolescents, delivered by social workers indigenous to the school system.
  4. To understand the extent that thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and socio-ecological factors influence the development of active suicidal ideation.

Condition Suicide
Treatment Robinson's Culturally Adapted Coping with Stress Course (A-CWS), Standard Care Control Condition
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04253002
SponsorDePaul University
Last Modified on9 September 2023


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Students: Enrolled 9th grade student at time of initial enrollment at participating high school
Parents/guardians: Child enrolled in study
Teachers: Student enrolled in study

Exclusion Criteria

Not a 9th grade student at time of initial enrollment
No parent/legal guardian permission
For parents and teachers: no students enrolled in study
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