Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection

Date:
May 16, 2011
Source:
San Francisco State University
Summary:
New research suggests LGBT youth who experience high levels of school victimization report impaired health and mental health in young adulthood, according to new study.

Critical new research has found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who experience high levels of school victimization in middle and high school report impaired health and mental health in young adulthood, including depression, suicide attempts that require medical care, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and risk for HIV. This is the first known study to examine the relationship between school victimization during adolescence -- specifically related to sexual orientation and gender identity -- with multiple dimensions of young adult health and adjustment. The study demonstrates the importance of addressing and preventing anti-LGBT victimization at the structural or school level to reduce health disparities among LGBT young people.

The study is published in the Journal of School Health, the journal of the American School Health Association.

Analyzing data from the Family Acceptance Project's young adult survey, the authors examined experiences related to school victimization during adolescence based on known or perceived LGBT identity among 245 LGBT young adults, ages 21 to 25. They found that LGBT young adults who were victimized in school because of their LGBT identity reported much higher health and adjustment problems, while students with low levels of school victimization had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction as young adults.

"We now have evidence of the lasting personal and social cost of failing to make our schools safe for all students. Prior studies have shown that school victimization of LGBT adolescents affects their health and mental health. In our study we see the effects of school victimization up to a decade later or more. It is clear that there are public health costs to LGBT-based bullying over the long-term," said lead author, Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona.

Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University and study co-author Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., pointed out, "The pervasiveness of bullying and lack of research on outcomes in adulthood have masked the serious long-term health costs for LGBT children and youth. These new findings will help providers and school advocacy groups understand the critical role families can play in preventing and managing victimization and the importance of our work in engaging and teaching parents and caregivers how to support and advocate for their LGBT children in families, schools and communities. The focus on serving LGBT youth primarily in peer-only spaces has prevented families and caregivers from learning the skills they need to advocate for their LGBT children."

Ann P. Haas, Ph.D., Director of Prevention Projects for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said, ""This new study provides compelling evidence that negative environments pose long-term health and mental health risks for LGBT youth. The Family Acceptance Project's growing body of research is building a solid foundation to develop preventive interventions to deal with the harmful effects of anti-LGBT environments on young people in their families, schools and communities ."

Commenting on the study's findings related to sexual health risks, Sean Cahill, Ph.D., Managing Director of Public Policy, Research and Community Health for Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) noted: "Once again, the Family Acceptance Project is helping us understand the social parameters of risk for LGBT youth by expanding on their work with families to show that school experiences also contribute to sexual health risk and risk for HIV among LGBT young adults. As the HIV epidemic continues to escalate among young gay and bisexual men and transgender women, and especially black gay youth, this study provides important evidence of the public health need for structural interventions and targeted anti-discrimination policies in our nation's schools to prevent HIV and other serious health problems."

Key Research Findings:

  • LGBT young adults who reported high levels of LGBT school victimization during adolescence were 5.6 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.6 times more likely to report a suicide attempt that required medical care, 2.6 times more likely to report clinical levels of depression, 2.5 times more likely to have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, and nearly 4 times more likely to report risk for HIV infection, compared with peers who reported low levels of school victimization.
  • Gay and bisexual males and transgender young adults reported higher levels of LGBT school victimization than lesbian and bisexual young women.
  • LGBT young adults who reported lower levels of school victimization reported higher levels of self-esteem, life satisfaction and social integration compared with peers with higher levels of school victimization during adolescence.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by San Francisco State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen T. Russell, Caitlin Ryan, Russell B. Toomey, Rafael M. Diaz, Jorge Sanchez. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adolescent School Victimization: Implications for Young Adult Health and Adjustment. Journal of School Health, 2011; 81 (5): 223 DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00583.x

Cite This Page:

San Francisco State University. "School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516075935.htm>.
San Francisco State University. (2011, May 16). School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516075935.htm
San Francisco State University. "School bullying, violence against LGBT youth linked to risk of suicide, HIV infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516075935.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins