By La Monica Everett-Haynes,
May 22, 2008
May 22, 2008
It is widely known that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth face discrimination, but less is known about the factors that make them twice as likely to attempt suicide.
University of Arizona professor Stephen T. Russell is determined to find out using a study that gathered information about students from their teenage years through young adulthood.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has just provided Russell with a two-year "distinguished investigor" grant totaling nearly $100,000 that will allow him to study suicide risk among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, LGBT, youth.
Russell, a John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences professor, is one of the few researchers who has studied the experience of LGBT youth in school. He published the first national results showing LGBT youth are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide.
In his proposal for the grant, Russell wrote that his study will attempt to explain “the sexual orientation disparity in suicide ideation and suicide attempts among U.S. adolescents through the examination of risk and protective factors that characterize the important contexts of adolescents’ lives: individual emotional and behavioral health and risk, family and peer relations and the school environment.”
Russell, whose project is titled “Explaining the Sexual Orientation Disparity in Adolescent Suicide Risk,” will use a large national survey that contains information from more than 20,000 students who were surveyed in seventh through 12th grades and followed over six years. Read more