Depression and suicidality among bisexual youth: A nationally representative sample

Lindsay A. Taliaferro, Kari M. Gloppen, Jennifer J. Muehlenkamp, Marla E. Eisenberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    To address gaps in the literature on bisexual youth, we used the first nationally representative sample of high school students from the United States to determine profiles of behaviors related to depressive symptoms, a suicide attempt, and a medically-serious attempt. We examined the data from 922 bisexual students in grades 9–12 who completed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Latent class analysis derived three classes reflecting unique patterns of 10 risk and protective behaviors. For both the sexes: one group was high on all the risk behaviors and demonstrated the greatest risk of depression, a suicide attempt, and a medically-serious attempt; another was below average on all the risk and protective behaviors and demonstrated average/moderate risk of the outcomes; and the last demonstrated the highest levels of protective behaviors and the lowest risk of depression and suicidal behavior. Bisexual students are not homogenous with regard to the risk of mental health problems. Greater involvement in several risk behaviors and less involvement in protective behaviors, rather than merely a bisexual identity, might contribute to bisexual adolescents' increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior. Findings have implications for prevention programming, clinical interventions, and future research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)16-31
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of LGBT Youth
    Volume15
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2 2018

    Keywords

    • Adolescents
    • bisexual
    • depression
    • suicide

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