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NCJ Number: 176248 Find in a Library
Title: Better Dead Than Gay? Depression, Suicide Ideation and Attempt Among a Sample of Gay and Straight-Identified Males Aged 18 to 24
Journal: Youth Studies Australia  Volume:17  Issue:4  Dated:December 1998  Pages:28-33
Author(s): J Nicholas; J Howard
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This study of 54 gay and 54 straight youths in the greater Sydney, Australia, area who had a mean age of 20.59 years found that gay youth were 3.7 times more likely than straight youth to attempt suicide.
Abstract: Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire covering sexual behavior, support, substance use, relationships, experiences of violence, current and lifetime mental health, and experiences of coming out (for gay participants). The questionnaire contained the General Health Questionnaire-28). Although no significant differences were observed between gay and straight youth on the depression subscale, gay youth reported they experienced significantly higher levels of suicidal ideation and more frequent depressive thoughts. On average, gay youth first attempted suicide 4.71 years after becoming sexually interested in men, 2.21 years after self-identifying as gay, 0.78 years before another person found out they were gay, and 0.61 years before they had their first same-gender sexual experience. Gay youth, compared to straight youth, perceived family members to be less supportive. Both gay and straight youth perceived high levels of support from friends, but this support was not related to suicidal ideation. Gay youth most frequently attempted suicide between 15 and 17 years of age, a period during which many were developing their gay identity. Implications of the findings for those who work with gay youth are discussed. 28 references, 2 tables, and 1 photograph
Main Term(s): Juvenile suicide
Index Term(s): Homosexuality; Juvenile psychological evaluation; Psychological research; Self-report studies
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