The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3360.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 3

Abstract #64168

Sexual minority status and suicidality in youth: A meta-analytic review

Sherry M. Bergeron, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada, (519) 945-3529, bewilde1@cogeco.ca and Kevin M. Gorey, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, Canada.

For lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth sexual minority status adds another dimension to the existing challenges that must be negotiated along the path to adulthood. A negative social climate toward sexual minorities exacerbates normal developmental trajectories and creates barriers for these youth that heterosexual youth do not have to face. Although it is widely cited that LGB youth are more likely to attempt suicide than are their heterosexual counterparts, estimates of suicidality among these youth exhibit a great deal of variability across studies. This study explores the link between suicidality and sexual minority status in youth by integrating the findings of existing studies using meta-analytic techniques. The sample was obtained through a systematic review of the social and medical science literature using computerized access to relevant databases (1982 to 2003): PsychINFO, Social Services Abstracts, Social Work Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, and Medline. Studies of HIV positive youth were excluded from analysis. Many potential sources of methodological and contextual variability may contribute to the noted differences in the reported rates of suicidality among LGB youth. This review of 27 independent studies integrates the findings of a variety of disciplines and translates the findings into effect sizes (Cohenís d) that consider differential rates based on population source, survey response rate, gender, ethnicity, and social factors.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Topics in LGBT Health - III

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA