Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It may not 'get better' for bisexual teens

Date:
October 1, 2013
Source:
Health Behavior News Service
Summary:
A new study finds that bisexual teens may be at risk for suicide even into young adulthood.

The "It Gets Better" Project was launched in 2010 as an attempt to address suicides amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual teens by recording online reminders that their lives will improve as they leave school and transition into adulthood. A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that this is not necessarily the case for bisexual teens and that a more nuanced approach to counseling might help.

"The [It Gets Better] campaign has helped many of the LGBT students that I work with in my clinical work," said lead researcher Robert Cardom of the department of educational, school, and counseling psychology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

"It has started conversations. Our results seem to support the 'It Gets Better' campaign's claims, while also telling us that we must do better to include bisexual individuals in our efforts to support LGBT youth and adults."

Past studies have reported that gay and lesbian teens have more symptoms of depression than heterosexual teens. Cardom and his colleagues set out to find whether depression decreased as the teens aged.

Teens were divided into groups based on their self-reported identification as heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, gay, mostly gay or bisexual. The study found that depression symptoms, namely thoughts of suicide, decreased from 42 percent to 12.3 percent as teens in all groups transitioned into adulthood and suicide attempts decreased from 15.9 to 2.9 percent. But the "mostly gay" and bisexual teens did not report a significant decrease in some measures of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

The study did not determine why suicidal thoughts persisted in some groups, but experts offer some suggestions.

"Some bisexuals may struggle with depression later on because they don't feel accepted and supported in either lesbian and gay or straight communities," said. "Bisexual identity does not fit into the gay/straight categories most people are comfortable with."

He suggests that gay teens may find more support than bisexual teens from the LGBT community after coming out, which would encourage feelings of self-acceptance.

Sharon Horne, Ph.D., a psychologist and director of training of counseling psychology, at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, agrees that the struggle may last longer for some groups.

"Those who identify as mostly gay may be expressing an ambivalence about identifying as gay or lesbian due to living in unsupportive environments or getting messages that it's not okay to be gay or lesbian," she said. "It may take them more time to work through this ambivalence, particularly since early adulthood continues to be a time of great transition."

Counselors may need to consider the differences between gay and bisexual teens.

"Therapists must understand that the experiences of clients who identify as bisexual can be much different from the experiences of their lesbian and gay clients," said Cardom. "Without understanding the challenges related to finding acceptance and support, we can fail to assess the social support our clients are getting."

According to Dr. Horne, more research is needed.

"More in-depth exploration is needed on how the meaning of sexual identity changes for people over time and what supports are in place as people navigate this through young adulthood," she said. "But the findings from this study are very encouraging for gay and lesbian youth."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Health Behavior News Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Cardom, Sharon Rostosky, Fred Danner. Does “It Get Better” for Depressed Sexual Minority Youth in Young Adulthood? Journal of Adolescent Health, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.07.023

Cite This Page:

Health Behavior News Service. "It may not 'get better' for bisexual teens." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001151046.htm>.
Health Behavior News Service. (2013, October 1). It may not 'get better' for bisexual teens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001151046.htm
Health Behavior News Service. "It may not 'get better' for bisexual teens." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001151046.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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