Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, Sexuality Concerns, and Emotion Regulation among Sexually Diverse Adolescents: A Multiple Mediation Analysis.Arch Suicide Res. 2018 Jul-Sep; 22(3):432-452.AS
Despite increasing interest in the prevalence and correlates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in adolescent populations, relatively few studies have examined NSSI among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents. The current study explored sexuality concerns and elevated emotion dysregulation as potential mechanisms underlying the relationship between sexual orientation and elevated non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). A community sample of 1,799 adolescents completed a questionnaire assessing NSSI, sexual orientation, sexuality concerns, and emotion regulation. Across the study, 20.6% of adolescents reported a history of NSSI. Adolescents who identify as "mostly heterosexual," "bisexual," and "mostly homosexual" were more likely to engage in NSSI than gay/lesbian, heterosexual, and asexual adolescents. Multiple mediation analysis showed that emotion regulation, but not sexuality concerns, mediated the relationship between sexual orientation and NSSI. The current study tested two theoretical pathways by which sexual orientation could predict NSSI engagement. Findings suggest that literature on general psychological processes, as well as group-specific minority stressors, can shed light on high rates of NSSI among LGB populations. Specifically, the challenges faced by LGB adolescents may undermine the development of emotion regulation. As such, this should be a key target of intervention with LGB adolescents engaging in NSSI.