Emotional Distress Among LGBT Youth: The Influence of Perceived Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Emotional Distress Among LGBT Youth: The Influence of Perceived Discrimination Based on Sexual... The authors evaluated emotional distress among 9th–12th grade students, and examined whether the association between being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgendered (i.e., “LGBT”) and emotional distress was mediated by perceptions of having been treated badly or discriminated against because others thought they were gay or lesbian. Data come from a school-based survey in Boston, Massachusetts (n = 1,032); 10% were LGBT, 58% were female, and ages ranged from 13 to 19 years. About 45% were Black, 31% were Hispanic, and 14% were White. LGBT youth scored significantly higher on the scale of depressive symptomatology. They were also more likely than heterosexual, non-transgendered youth to report suicidal ideation (30% vs. 6%, p < 0.0001) and self-harm (21% vs. 6%, p < 0.0001). Mediation analyses showed that perceived discrimination accounted for increased depressive symptomatology among LGBT males and females, and accounted for an elevated risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation among LGBT males. Perceived discrimination is a likely contributor to emotional distress among LGBT youth. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Youth and Adolescence Springer Journals

Emotional Distress Among LGBT Youth: The Influence of Perceived Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Psychology, general ; History of Psychology; Law and Psychology; Health Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Child and School Psychology
ISSN
0047-2891
eISSN
1573-6601
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10964-009-9397-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The authors evaluated emotional distress among 9th–12th grade students, and examined whether the association between being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgendered (i.e., “LGBT”) and emotional distress was mediated by perceptions of having been treated badly or discriminated against because others thought they were gay or lesbian. Data come from a school-based survey in Boston, Massachusetts (n = 1,032); 10% were LGBT, 58% were female, and ages ranged from 13 to 19 years. About 45% were Black, 31% were Hispanic, and 14% were White. LGBT youth scored significantly higher on the scale of depressive symptomatology. They were also more likely than heterosexual, non-transgendered youth to report suicidal ideation (30% vs. 6%, p < 0.0001) and self-harm (21% vs. 6%, p < 0.0001). Mediation analyses showed that perceived discrimination accounted for increased depressive symptomatology among LGBT males and females, and accounted for an elevated risk of self-harm and suicidal ideation among LGBT males. Perceived discrimination is a likely contributor to emotional distress among LGBT youth.

Journal

Journal of Youth and AdolescenceSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 24, 2009

References

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