Suicidality among sexual and gender minority youth: Minority stress and mental healthcare

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    Abstract

    Sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth might face discrimination or rejection because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. SGM youth might also be afraid of rejection. This worry and negative experiences could lead to minority stress. Minority stress experiences could then lead to depression, anxiety, and also suicidal thoughts. Prior research demonstrated that SGM youth are at higher risk for suicidal ideation than cisgender, heterosexual youth.

    To gain insight into the needs for suicide prevention, mental healthcare, and social support for SGM youth, this dissertation examined risk and protective factors for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (suicidality) among SGM youth. In addition, SGM young adults’ experiences and needs regarding mental healthcare and social support were examined.

    Results demonstrated associations between minority stressors such as victimization, bullying, negative family treatment and a higher likelihood of suicidal ideation and attempts. Further, transgender and genderqueer young adults were more likely to report suicidality than cisgender lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) young adults.

    Social support from family and an active coping style were associated with a lower likelihood of suicidal ideation and attempts. Family social support can fulfill an important role in the lives of SGM youth.

    Finally, the results demonstrated that mental healthcare does not yet meet the needs of SGM youth with suicidality. SGM young adults experienced, for example, a lack of knowledge among professionals about transgender identities and growing up as an SGM individual. And SGM young adults experienced that suicidal ideation was sometimes inadequately addressed.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Bosker, Roel, Supervisor
    • Bos, Henny M.W., Supervisor, External person
    • van Bergen, Diana, Co-supervisor
    • Baams, Laura, Co-supervisor
    Award date2-Jun-2022
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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