LGB Youth at Suicide Risk Supportive Environment Decreases Risk

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There’s a 20% increased likelihood that members of the youth gay, lesbian and bisexual community will attempt suicide, as opposed to heterosexual youth, according to the latest research.

The research determined also that when these youths are living in an environment which is supportive to their sexual preference, there is a distinct decrease in suicide likelihood.

Many Studies

The comparisons were made by Mark L. Hatzenbuehler PhD from the Columbia University of New York. He explained how there have been many studies which have shown the increased suicide likelihood amongst young members of these communities in comparison to heterosexual counterparts.

Social Environment

The new study may explain according to Hatzenbuehler why this is so. For the study, data from almost 32,000 11th grade students was taken. They had previously completed the Oregon Healthy Teens survey. By means of this data Hatzenbuehler was able to create a composite index pertaining to 34 counties in the USA based on the social environment therein.

It was found that in counties where there was a support given to homosexuality there was a decrease in the suicide prevalence amongst homosexual youth, whilst in the counties where it was not supported, the figures stood at a 20% increased likelihood to attempt suicide.

In determining the aspects of what exactly is a supportive environment, factors which included active anti bullying regimes, active anti-discrimination policies and the presence of gay alliances were determined to represent such support. Where schools implemented such policies there was in effect a fostered inclusive and supportive environment.

Hetero and LGB

The rate of suicide it was determined from the data analysis, was not only lower in regards to the homosexual youth community, but amongst the heterosexual youth also. Overall it was found that 21.5% of youths of LGB status had attempted to commit suicide in the previous year.

This was compared with 4.2% of young people of heterosexual origin. The findings concluded that the LGB community members in the more supportive environments were 20% less likely to have attempted suicide.

Mental Health

So too it was evident that mental health wise, there was less existence of these conditions within LGB community members who lived in supportive environments. These mental health issues pertained not only to depression, but binge drinking, victimisation and abuse by adults.
Hatzenbuehler concluded that; the study shows documentary evidence that the social environment appears to confer risk for suicide attempts over and beyond individual-level risk factors. As a result of the findings, measures will be put in place which will reduce sexual orientation disparities in attempts at suicide,

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