Examining Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Association of Victimization and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors with Alcohol Use Among Sexual Minority Youth
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This study aimed to test whether experiencing both sexual minority victimization and suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) was more strongly associated with alcohol use among Latinx and Black sexual minority youth (SMY) versus White SMY. Using data from 2,341 non-Latinx Black, Latinx, and non-Latinx White SMY from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 and 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, researchers tested the prevalence of sexual minority victimization, STBs, and alcohol use. The results showed that experiencing school-based victimization, reporting a suicide plan within the past year, and reporting a suicide attempt within the past year were all associated with greater alcohol use, regardless of race/ethnicity. Latinx SMY who experienced school-based victimization had higher rates of alcohol use than White SMY who experienced school-based victimization. However, Latinx SMY who both experienced school-based victimization and reported suicidal ideation in the past year had lower rates of alcohol use than White SMY who both experienced school-based victimization and reported suicidal ideation in the past year. More research is needed to disentangle the protective and risk factors for alcohol use among Black and Latinx SMY.
This paper, “Examining racial/ethnic differences in the association of victimization and suicidal thoughts and behaviors with alcohol use among sexual minority youth,” was funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and published in the journal LGBT health.