Purpose in the pandemic: Fear of COVID-19, hopelessness, meaning in life, and suicidal thoughts among two samples of Black Americans.

Publication date: Jul 10, 2023

The mental health experiences of Black Americans remain understudied in existing COVID-19 research. While several vital reports highlight disparate physical health outcomes-and even higher mortality rates among Black Americans-few queries have considered the current mental health concerns for this particular group. This investigation therefore examines correlates associated with experiencing suicidal ideation at the beginning (e. g., 2020) and in a later phase (e. g., 2022) of the COVID-19 pandemic. Study 1 includes responses from (n = 489) Black young adults ages 18-30 who completed online surveys from May 27 to June 24, 2020. Study 2 includes response from a separate, nationally representative probability-based sample of (n = 794) Black adults ages 18-88 who completed online surveys between April 21 and June 1, 2022. Participants’ fear of COVID-19, feelings of hopelessness, and perceptions regarding meaning in life were considered. Study findings indicate that hopelessness, but not fear of COVID-19, was positively associated with suicidal ideation in both studies. Further, presence of meaning in life was negatively associated with suicidal ideation during the past 2 weeks in Study 1 and was also associated with significantly lower odds of suicidal ideation during the past year in Study 2. Presence of meaning in life moderated the relation between hopelessness and suicidal ideation among participants in Study 1 only. Thus, having a sense of life purpose appears to be an important construct to consider when working to prevent suicide among Black Americans during the current global COVID-19 pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts Keywords
Black Americans
Covid Black
June Considered
Suicide Covid


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH suicidal ideation
disease MESH suicide
disease VO Apa

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