Navigation Links
Study links social environment to high attempted suicide rates among gay youth
Date:4/17/2011

NEW YORK In the wake of several highly publicized suicides by gay teenagers, a new study finds that a negative social environment surrounding gay youth is associated with high rates of suicide attempts by lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth. The study, "The Social Environment and Suicide Attempts in a Population-Based Sample of LGB Youth," appears in the April 18 issue of Pediatrics. It was conducted by by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar Mark L. Hatzenbuehler at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

The study of nearly 32,000 11th-grade students in Oregon found that LGB youth were more than five times as likely to have attempted suicide in the previous 12 months, as their heterosexual peers (21.5 percent vs. 4.2 percent). Using a new tool designed to measure social environment, Hatzenbuehler found that LGB youth living in a social environment that was more supportive of gays and lesbians were 25 percent less likely to attempt suicide than LGB youth living in environments that were less supportive.

Overall, suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 24, and LGB youth attempt suicide at significantly higher rates than heterosexuals. Few studies, however, have examined whether a young person's social environment contributes to the likelihood that he or she will attempt suicide.

Data was drawn from the 2006 and 2008 Oregon Healthy Teens survey, an annual survey of public school students in 8th and 11th grade in Oregon. Sexual orientation is assessed only in 11th grade; participants remain anonymous.

"The results of this study are pretty compelling," said Hatzenbuehler. "When communities support their gay young people, and schools adopt anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies that specifically protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempted suicide by all young people drops, especially for LGB youth."

Hatzenbuehler developed five measures of the social environment surrounding LGB youth on a county-wide level that included: 1) proportion of schools with anti-bullying policies specifically protecting LGB students; 2) proportion of schools with Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs); 3) proportion of schools with anti-discrimination policies that included sexual orientation; 4) proportion of same-sex couples; and 5) proportion of Democrats in the county.

The study found that a more supportive social environment was associated with 20 percent fewer suicide attempts than an unsupportive environment. A supportive environment was also associated with a 9% lower rate of attempted suicide among heterosexual students.

Previous studies have documented risk factors for suicide attempts among LGB youth including depression, binge drinking, peer victimization, and physical abuse by an adult. Hatzenbuehler controlled for these individual risk factors in order to assess the influence of the social environment on suicide attempts above and beyond known risk factors for suicide attempts.

"The good news is that this study suggests a road map for how we can reduce suicide attempts among lesbian, gay and bisexual youth," Hatzenbuehler said. Unfortunately, he notes, some communities are heading in the wrong direction. He points to Utah, where school-based Gay-Straight Alliancesstudent groups that work toward increasing tolerance between homosexual and heterosexual youthhave come under attack.

"This study shows that the creation of school climates that are good for gay youth can lead to better health outcomes for all young people," said Hatzenbuehler.


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Alcohol-Energy Drink Combo Riskier Than Booze Alone, Study Says
2. Large study finds ICS therapy reduces pneumonia mortality
3. Early School Start Tied to More Teen Crashes: Study
4. Study examines new treatment for recurrent urinary tract infections
5. Human Language Origins Traced to Africa, Study Finds
6. Study finds diet plus exercise is more effective for weight loss than either method alone
7. New study identifies possible cause of salt-induced hypertension
8. Compassion, Not Punishment, Helps Diffuse Workplace Anger: Study
9. Study suggests enzyme crucial to DNA replication may provide potent anti-cancer drug target
10. Heart needs work after heart attack: U of A Study challenges the notion that the heart must rest
11. With Safety Devices in Place, Kids Injuries Decline: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... The Gallery ... Kevin Sadati, is pleased to announce a new treatment option called Vivace Microneedling. ... their face, neck, and body through a virtually pain-free, non-surgical treatment. Vivace Microneedling ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... New patients from Charleston, SC, are ... dentist practicing in Mt. Pleasant, SC, with or without a referral. A full mouth ... with missing teeth in Charleston, SC. Those who suffer from gum disease, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... WI (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... Patients ... to call Dr. Angela Cotey’s practice to schedule an appointment, with or without a ... and frequently offers pulpotomy treatments to pediatric patients as a healthy alternative to a ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... May 22, 2017 , ... An ... to write with a pen. "My wife’s hand was damaged in a firework accident, ... something that helps people with manual problems." , He then designed and created a ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... larger group investing in InsightRX, an early stage company in San Francisco that ... pharmacological characteristics. Greatpoint Ventures Innovation Fund acted as the lead investor ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/18/2017)...  Two Bayer U.S. Pharmaceutical leaders received top awards ... 28 th Woman of the Year ... longstanding mission of furthering the advancement and impact of ... Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior director of brand activation and ... Libby Howe , a regional business manager for New ...
(Date:5/15/2017)... Inc., a privately-held CNS pharmaceutical company based in ... disease (PD), has enrolled the first patient in the RASMET ... study involving patients with PD and taking place at 12 ... period. The first stage is open label and involves single ... Denver , Boca Raton ...
(Date:5/10/2017)... -- Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ) announced ... quarter ended April 1, 2017 .   GAAP diluted ... to the prior year period as the sale of ... while non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.50 increased 6.4%.  Revenue ... currency terms.  Excluding the effects of blood screening and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: