Stephen Russell, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Distinguished Investigator Grant (2008): $85,000
Explaining the Sexual Orientation Disparity in Adolescent Suicide Risk
Abstract: Studies over the last several decades have pointed to significantly higher rates of self-reported suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. In this research, the investigator will seek to explain this disparity by examining data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The Add Health survey data were obtained from a nationally-representative sample of over 13,000 U.S. adolescents, and are unique in including information about sexual orientation, suicidality and many different contexts that shape adolescent development (e.g., family, peers, school). The key goal of the study is to identify factors within each context that are related to suicidal ideation and attempts among adolescents reporting same-sex orientation. It is hoped that the results will guide the development of suicide prevention and intervention programs for sexual minority youth.