LGBTQ youth more likely to be truant or to consider or commit suicide
(Medical Xpress)—Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and those questioning their sexuality are at significantly greater risk of truancy and of considering and attempting suicide than their heterosexual classmates – even when bullying isn't involved, according to a new study of more than 11,000 middle and high school students.
Although bullying does account for a portion of the risk disparities, significant differences remain after taking bullying into account, said the authors, Joseph P. Robinson and Dorothy Espelage, educational psychologists at the University of Illinois.
Prior studies have indicated that LGBTQ youth are at greater risk for considering and attempting suicide and for unexcused absences. In the current study, which assessed seventh through 12th graders across 30 schools, the researchers sought to determine if bullying explained LGBTQ youth's higher risks for these behaviors.
"Bullying does explain a substantial portion of the disparities between LGBTQ and straight students, suggesting that we need to have anti-bullying policies in schools, and that those policies should cover sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression," Robinson said. "However, bullying is not the entire story."
Using a propensity-score-matching technique, the researchers matched heterosexual and LGBTQ students with similar demographic characteristics and victimization profiles to examine how straight youths' risk levels were compared to LGBTQ youth when straight youth were bullied at the same rates as LGBTQ youth, and vice versa.
The researchers found that, in the matched samples, LGBTQ youth were still more than three times as likely as their heterosexual peers to consider suicide. This pattern was found in both matched samples – that is, regardless of whether the researchers matched LGBTQ youth to similar heterosexual youth or vice versa. The researchers noted that the striking similarity in findings across both matched samples suggests that LGBTQ youth are at higher risk regardless of whether we look at differences among youth who are victimized more often or less often.
Robinson and Espelage then conducted supplemental analyses on a broader range of victimization variables, such as childhood sexual abuse, dating violence and parental physical abuse to determine if these variables explained the disparities in risk levels that remained after bullying was taken out of the equation. Even with these factors taken into account, LGBTQ students remained at significantly higher risk than their heterosexual peers.
Bisexual and questioning youth in particular appeared to be at significantly higher risk, but the researchers could only speculate why. Perhaps these groups are exposed to greater intolerance and stress than youth who identify as lesbian or gay. Or perhaps they are the targets of "biphobia" – experiencing social rejection and discrimination from both heterosexual and lesbian/gay students, the researchers theorized.
Another possible factor that might explain the persistent differences between straight and LGBTQ youth could be stigmatizing messages about sexual minorities in children's immediate environments as well as broader society that exacerbate LGBTQ youths' feelings of depression, rejection and isolation, Robinson and Espelage suggested.
In May, the Illinois Senate narrowly voted down a bill approved by the Illinois House of Representatives that would have required school districts to implement aggressive and detailed anti-bullying policies. Conservative groups opposed the legislation out of concerns that the mandated programs would promote homosexuality and violate students' and parents' religious beliefs.
"Suicide isn't a trivial thing," Robinson said. "Our findings suggest that, even beyond bullying-prevention policies, schools should have additional policies that support safe learning environments for all students and help address the remaining risk disparities that bullying alone does not account for."
The study appeared in the November issue of the journal Educational Researcher.
More information: edr.sagepub.com/co… 309.abstract
Provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Education research shows LGBTQ-identified students at higher risk than straight-identified students Oct 12, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Safe schools policy for LGBTQ students Nov 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study links social environment to high attempted suicide rates among gay youth Apr 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Out with LGBTQ bullying Dec 10, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Can the kids be all right if they are gay too? Sep 13, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—We've all seen them: the surfers who race to the beach when a hurricane hits, the guy who decides to ride out the storm in his overmatched boat, the tornado chasers who fearlessly steer their ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
Psychology & Psychiatry 10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Ernie Pyle – an iconic war correspondent in World War II – reportedly said "There are no atheists in foxholes." A new joint study between two brothers at Cornell and Virginia Wesleyan found that only ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 hours ago | 2.5 / 5 (4) | 1
(Medical Xpress)—Research by Stanford scholar Emma Seppala at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education found that post-traumatic stress disorder decreased in veterans who participated ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with diabetes who are depressed are much more likely to develop episodes of dangerously low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, than are those who are not depressed, a new study has ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
8 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Comorbid conditions often accompany alopecia areata, according to a study published online May 22 in JAMA Dermatology.
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0