Study suggests higher risk of teen suicide in less supportive communities


Lesbian, gay and bisexual teens are fives times more likely than their heterosexual peers to attempt suicide, according to a new study that evaluates the impact of teens’ social environments.

The study of nearly 32,000 high school students in Oregon found more teen suicide attempts in politically conservative places where schools did not have programs supporting gay rights.

Via Reuters:

The findings, published online today in Pediatrics, showed that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens living in counties with a high proportion of gay and lesbian couples, and those who went to schools with gay-straight alliances and anti-discrimination policies, were less likely to attempt suicide than LGB teens living in less accepting environments.

About 1400 — or between 4 and 5 percent — of teens surveyed identified themselves as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Of those students, almost 22 kids out of every hundred said they had attempted suicide in the past year. That compared to about 4 of every hundred teens who identified as straight and said they had attempted suicide.

Researchers chose to study Oregon because it is the only state that tracks sexual orientation and suicide attempts in enough detail to compare social factors.

This Story Filed Under