Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

A Theoretical Look at Sexual Minority Victimization and Outness to Family as a Protective Factor Against Lifetime Suicide Attempts

Purpose/Originality: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes, which has been linked to minority stress processes (Meyer, 2003). LGBTQ individuals are also at increased risk of victimization and suicidality (Shields, 2011). In some cases, identity disclosure may protect against suicidality (Morris, 2001). However, less is known about the effects of outness to one’s family. We examined the interaction of victimization and lifetime suicide attempts with family outness as a potential protective factor.

Methods: Sexual minority adults (n = 730, M age = 29.99, SD = 13.84) were recruited nationally from university-affiliated LGBTQ groups, community organizations, and Facebook. Hypotheses were tested using negative binomial regression. Covariates included age, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, depression, anxiety, and general (i.e., non-family specific) outness.

Results: Twenty-eight percent reported one or more suicide attempts (Range = 0 - 50, M = .73, SD = 2.46). The interaction model was significant, omnibus c2 = 205.53, df = 14, p < .001, AIC = 1364.07. As hypothesized, family outness moderated the positive association between victimization and number of lifetime suicide attempts, b = -.20, Wald c2 = 12.86, df = 1, p < .001. A simple effect for victimization remained beyond the interaction, b = .60, Wald c2 = 49.61, df = 1, p < .001.

Significance: Although victimization puts sexual minorities at higher risk for lifetime suicide attempts, it was found that family outness was a protective factor that weakened this association. The findings highlight the importance of family dialogue surrounding sexual identity, especially in the presence of victimization. Future suicide intervention strategies may benefit from consideration of this study. Theoretical explanations and limitations will be discussed.


Category

Social Sciences

UMCUR Final.pptx (843 kB)

Share

COinS
 
Apr 11th, 3:00 PM Apr 11th, 3:20 PM

A Theoretical Look at Sexual Minority Victimization and Outness to Family as a Protective Factor Against Lifetime Suicide Attempts

A Theoretical Look at Sexual Minority Victimization and Outness to Family as a Protective Factor Against Lifetime Suicide Attempts

Purpose/Originality: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes, which has been linked to minority stress processes (Meyer, 2003). LGBTQ individuals are also at increased risk of victimization and suicidality (Shields, 2011). In some cases, identity disclosure may protect against suicidality (Morris, 2001). However, less is known about the effects of outness to one’s family. We examined the interaction of victimization and lifetime suicide attempts with family outness as a potential protective factor.

Methods: Sexual minority adults (n = 730, M age = 29.99, SD = 13.84) were recruited nationally from university-affiliated LGBTQ groups, community organizations, and Facebook. Hypotheses were tested using negative binomial regression. Covariates included age, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, depression, anxiety, and general (i.e., non-family specific) outness.

Results: Twenty-eight percent reported one or more suicide attempts (Range = 0 - 50, M = .73, SD = 2.46). The interaction model was significant, omnibus c2 = 205.53, df = 14, p < .001, AIC = 1364.07. As hypothesized, family outness moderated the positive association between victimization and number of lifetime suicide attempts, b = -.20, Wald c2 = 12.86, df = 1, p < .001. A simple effect for victimization remained beyond the interaction, b = .60, Wald c2 = 49.61, df = 1, p < .001.

Significance: Although victimization puts sexual minorities at higher risk for lifetime suicide attempts, it was found that family outness was a protective factor that weakened this association. The findings highlight the importance of family dialogue surrounding sexual identity, especially in the presence of victimization. Future suicide intervention strategies may benefit from consideration of this study. Theoretical explanations and limitations will be discussed.