NEVADA: Teen Sexual Identity, Childhood Trauma Linked to Suicidal Behaviors

January 19, 2018

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Nevada


A recent study examined the influence of sexual identity and childhood trauma on suicide risk among Nevada teens. Researchers looked at data from approximately 5,000 Nevada high school students who answered questions about their sexual identity and exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as being forced to have sex or physically hurt by an adult. Compared to their heterosexual peers, teens who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) were more likely to report a history of ACEs. LGBQ students were also more likely to report having suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in the past year. Compared to heterosexual teens without a history of ACEs, LGBQ teens with a history of ACEs had significantly higher odds of suicidal thoughts and behavior. According to lead author Kristen Clements-Nolle, suicide prevention efforts among LGBQ teens should incorporate these findings. “While the assessment of intervention effectiveness was beyond the scope of the current study, the higher prevalence of ACEs among adolescents who are LGB or are not sure of their sexual identity and the demonstrated influence on suicide risk behaviors highlight the need to ensure that suicide prevention efforts for sexual minority youth are trauma-informed.”

Spark Extra! Read the study abstract.