Protective School Climates and Reduced Risk for Suicide Ideation in Sexual Minority Youth

AJPHBy Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Michelle Birkett, Aimee Van Wagenen, Ilan H. Meyer
April 2014
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth living in states and cities with more protective school climates are significantly less likely to report one-year suicidal thoughts than LGB youths living in states and cities with less protective school climates. Associations between positive school climates and reduced risk for suicidal thoughts remained significant even after controlling for potential confounders. The study, funded in part by an NIH grant for the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at The Fenway Health Institute, looked at schools in eight cities and states: Chicago, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York City, Rhode Island, San Francisco and Vermont. “Given schools’ wide variation in protective policies and practices, the study suggests educators and youth advocates have a significant opportunity to take concrete steps to reduce the risk of suicide among LGB youth,” said Mark Hatzenbuehler, the study’s first author.

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Click here for the press release.

*Article published in the American Journal of Public Health

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