Cumulative minority stress and suicide risk among LGBTQ youth

Am J Community Psychol. 2022 Mar;69(1-2):157-168. doi: 10.1002/ajcp.12553. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Abstract

Exposure to minority stress is the primary mechanism through which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth experience a greater risk for suicide. The current study examines the association of LGBTQ-based cumulative minority stress with suicide risk using online survey data collected from 39,126 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 in the United States. Youth who reported four types of minority stress had nearly 12 times greater odds of attempting suicide compared to those who reported none. Transgender and nonbinary youth and American Indian/Alaskan Native youth had higher odds of reporting three or more minority stress experiences. The strong association of cumulative risk with attempted suicide and disproportionate exposure among marginalized members of the LGBTQ community highlight the need for suicide prevention to prioritize those at greatest risk and for research examining LGBTQ suicide risk to employ cumulative risk models.

Keywords: Cumulative risk; Gender identity; LGBTQ youth; Minority stress; Sexual orientation; Suicide attempt.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bisexuality
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Transgender Persons*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult