Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide among LGBTQ Youth

Project Title: Risk and Protective Factors for Suicide among Sexual Minority Youth
Dates of Project: 7/1/2011-6/30/2016
Funder: New York University; National Institute of Mental Health
Principal Investigator: Dr. Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D.

Researchers: Arnold H. Grossman (New York University); Stephen T. Russell (University of Arizona)

Brief description:

This study seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of the factors associated with the risk for suicide for LGBTQ young people, especially through identifying protective factors amenable to intervention.

The 5-year multi-site, longitudinal study will investigate Thomas Joiner’s theoretical framework for suicide in the context of sexual minority youth. It has three aims:

1. To identify LGBT-specific protective factors associated with lower risk for multiple indicators of suicidality, including family acceptance, positive self-esteem, personal mastery, coping skills, resilience, and support networks.

2. To compare youth who report suicide ideation and attempts with those who do not on the risk factors identified in Joiner’s theoretical framework for suicide (shown as Figure 1): thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and acquired capability for lethal self-injury.

3. To extend Joiner’s model to include LGBT-specific moderators, including family reactions to sexual/gender identity disclosure, gender non-conformity and ages of coming out.

Parnter Organizations:

The project is a collaboration with New York Univesrity and a program site in New York: The Hetric Martin Institute.

The University of Arizona team will recruit LGBTQ youth from sites in Tucson, AZ and San Francisco, CA:

McClelland Institute

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Research Link


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