Self-injury, suicide ideation, and sexual orientation: differences in causes and correlates among high school students.J Inj Violence Res. 2016 Jan; 8(1):15-24.JI
Research has suggested that sexual minority youth are more likely to experience a number of behavioral and health-related risk factors due to their exposure to negative attitudes and beliefs about sexual minorities. Few studies, however, have examined the prevalence of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) among sexual minority youth. With self-cutting and suicidal ideation common in middle and high schools, understanding the antecedents and correlates of such behavior may help identify troubled students and initiate preventative measures.
Bivariate probit regression analyses are performed using data from 7,326 high school students collected via the Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Results indicate that bullying victimization, fighting, substance use, sexual behavior, depression, and unhealthy dieting behaviors were generally associated with NSSI and suicidal ideation. Some effects--including those from sexual activity, substance use, and unhealthy dieting behaviors--significantly differed based on gender and orientation.
Risk factors for suicide and NSSI vary by gender and orientation. Both prevention/intervention specialists and researchers should consider the intersection of these risk factors with sexual orientation in their efforts.