Navigation Links
Support May Help Curb Suicide Among Gay Youths
Date:4/18/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Gay youths are much less likely to attempt suicide when they live in communities where they feel they have some support, either through gay/lesbian groups at school or simply because more same-sex couples live in the area, new research has found.

According to a report published online April 18 in Pediatrics, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youths who live in a nonsupportive social environment are five times more likely than their "straight" peers to try to kill themselves.

"While there are a small number of prior studies that have demonstrated that school climate makes a difference for LGB students, this study is important because it extends our understanding to the broader surroundings of the community in which students and schools are situated," said Stephen T. Russell, a professor and director of the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

"The study shows that the population density of same-sex couples ... is a strong and stable measure of the community/school climate and that this has a direct influence on the well-being of LGB youth," added Russell, who was not involved in the study.

According to the study's author, Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, "previous studies showed that gay youth are more likely to attempt suicide."

Real-life experience has backed up that statement. In a one-month period last fall, the media reported on four incidents in which LGB youth committed suicide after being bullied because of their sexual orientation.

In addition, a survey conducted by the New York-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that nearly nine of every 10 gay, lesbian bisexual or transgendered middle and high school students said they were physically or verbally bullied in 2009.

To help counter this, syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who is gay, launched the "It Gets Better" campaign last September. Its YouTube site features successful gay adults from all walks of life talking about their experiences with bullying -- and how they came through it.

Hatzenbuehler's study was "one of the first to examine the role of environment" in bullying and suicides, instead of focusing on such individual risk factors as depression, which previous studies had done, he said.

The study also did not rely on the teens' own perceptions of their social environment but instead developed a set of five more objective factors to characterize the environment. They were:

  • The proportion of same-sex couples living in the county
  • The proportion of registered Democrats living in the county. Hatzenbuehler said that earlier studies had indicated that political ideology was associated with attitudes toward sexuality.
  • Whether the school had a gay-straight alliance
  • Whether the student handbook specified anti-bullying policies
  • Whether the handbook included anti-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation

Hatzenbuehler surveyed almost 32,000 11th-grade students in 34 counties in Oregon, 4.4 percent of whom were LGB. He found that almost 22 percent of LGB youth had attempted suicide in the past year, compared with only 4.2 percent in the heterosexual population.

But living in a more supportive environment reduced that risk by 20 percent. A supportive environment was also linked with a 9 percent lower risk for attempted suicide among heterosexual teens.

"This is a road map for how we can begin to reduce suicide attempts among LGB youth," Hatzenbuehler said. "There are three relatively straightforward things we can do. If we allow gay/lesbian alliances in schools and include anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies in student handbooks, we can really reduce suicide attempts."

"Attempting suicide is not something inherent to being gay," he said.

More information

Mental Health American has more on bullying and gay youths.

SOURCES: Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health and society scholar, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City; Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D., professor and director, Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families, University of Arizona, Tucson; April 18, 2011, Pediatrics, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Senator Janis Lee Sponsors Senate Resolution Supporting Kevin Saunders for Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports
2. Toys"R"Us, Inc. Expands its Support of Autism Speaks Throughout North America
3. Retired Military Brass Support First Ladys Call to Reduce Child Obesity, Improve Nutrition
4. NASBE Supports First Lady Michelle Obama in Fight Against Childhood Obesity
5. Chiquita Announces Support for School Salad Bar Campaign
6. In Support of the Lets Move Campaign to Fight Childhood Obesity, Verizon Thinkfinity Providing Free Educational Resources on Nutrition and Exercise
7. Poll Shows Eroding Support for Health Reform
8. Als Angels Love and Laughter Event to Support Children and Families in Desperate Need
9. IHRSA Heartily Applauds First Lady's "Let's Move" Initiative and Vows Support
10. Formotus Announces Support for Mobile Business Forms on Android Phones
11. Bluestar Silicones Launches a New Range of Silbione(R) TCS 7560 & 7561 Elastomers for Lingerie, Support Stockings and Medical Textile Applications
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Support May Help Curb Suicide Among Gay Youths
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Christmas in Suffolk”: a story of ... Seymour, who lives in Lafayette, Indiana where she works in a daycare and looks ... writes. , Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Sara Seymour’s new book is an adventure ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse”: a ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse” is the creation of published author, Gene Gaapf, a retired ... collections. , “I have been writing since high school and have many different ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... “God's Miracle Man: Against All Odds”: an inspiring affirmation of God’s work. “God's ... Tucker, son of Minister Delores Pinnock and a Jamaican native who lives in Kingston ... sitting up in bed, I felt a pounding headache. It was like a drum ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... Aerolib Learning Management System: an On-demand E-learning system for Clinical and Regulatory ... Administration that is based on Aerolib`s successful education methodology of Disease Specific ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... 5,000 SF expansion and facility enhancement of their 503A compounding pharmacy located in ... the growing demand of physicians and patients throughout the United States for high-quality ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... 2017 Stock-Callers.com today evaluates the following ... ), Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO ), Sucampo ... Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PTX ). These stocks belong ... th , 2017, finishing near its session lows. As per ... 0.7%, while shares of health care companies in the S&P ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... BUFFALO, N.Y. , Jan. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... health programs, has announced the launch of an ... to new guidelines on opioids and helps stem ... Opioids are often prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer ... disease) despite serious risks and lack of evidence ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... January 20, 2017 ... an Nothilfe   Die internationale humanitäre Stadt soll ... zu schaffen   Seine Hoheit Scheich ... VAE sowie Herrscher von Dubai , ... der Hilfe (International Humanitarian City IHC) zu verdreifachen, um ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: