Homosexual depressed adolescent boys – suicide


The research proposal that I’m doing is homosexual depressed adolescent boys are more likely than homosexual depressed adolescent girls to commit suicide. Why is that? I believe going as far back as I can remember it was always more accepting for two women to be together than it is for two men. You always hear men saying they would love to have a three some or watch two women in an sexual encounter. You hardly hear men or women say they want to watch or be a part of a three some with men. This leads to the stereotype that it’s ok for women to be in an sexual encounter but it isn’t ok for men to be in one. This is why I believe it is more difficult for male adolescents to admit to anyone that they are gay, or even when they fully come out of the closet to feel accepted by their peers or family. This is one of the factors why homosexual boys commit suicide.

I work in a High School and I see the difference in behavior between the homosexual male student that is accepted by his family and friends and the one’s who isn’t. As far as my experience goes the ones who are accepted for who they are more flamboyant has friends from both genders because they accept themselves too. They also try to help their gay peers come out of the closet and be more accepting of themselves. I’ve notice during the adolescent years if you accept yourself for who you are whether it’s gay, straight, or bisexual your peers will accept you as well.

This research is of great importance for our homosexual youth. It will offer them help on how to come out of the closet to their family and friends. It will help them with their self-esteem. It will help them not to feel like they are dirty because they are not following the so call norms of society. It will also offer them a place to go when they feel hopeless and ashamed for who they are, and show them there’s another way besides committing suicide.

Review of the Literature

Are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender more likely to commit suicide? Yes they are according to Gibson (1989), in the report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide, reported that gay and lesbian adolescents were two to three times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide and may account for as many as 30% of completed youth suicides each year. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth may comprise 1,500 of the 5,000 completed youth suicides each year. Other studies have reported that one-third of the homosexual adolescents in their research samples said they had attempted suicide, and many reported repeated attempts (Remafedi, 1987; Roesler & Deisher, 1972).

In a report done in 1991 by Remafedi, Farrow, and Deisher they surveyed 137 gay and bisexual adolescent males from the age of 14 to 21. According to this survey 30% of the males reported they tried to commit suicide once, and at least half of the males reported they tried more than one time to commit suicide. They also found out by doing this survey the average age of the males when they tried to commit suicide was 15 in a half years old. The methods that were used were prescription medication, over the counter medication, and about 80% of the attempts in this population tried through self-lacerations. The authors did not explain the suicide attempts by discrimination, violence, sexual abuse, loss of friendship, current personal attitudes towards homosexuality, or running away from home. But they did find that gender nonconformity and precocious psychosexual development were predictive of suicide attempts. According to McFarland and William P. compared with non-attempters, suicide attempters recognized homosexual attractions and told others about these feelings at a younger age, and first sexual experiences with males and females occurred at a younger age. They also stated, “compared with older persons, early and middle adolescents may be generally less able to cope with the isolation and stigma of a homosexual identity” (p. 874). Also according to the authors “for each year’s delay in bisexual or homosexual self-labeling, the odds of a suicide attempt diminished by 80%” (p. 874).

Dustin T. Duncan, ScD, and Mark L. Hatzenbuehier, PhD did their research on participants who’s data came from a racially/ethnically diverse population-based sample of 9th through 12th grade public school students in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Duncan and Mr. Hatzenbuehier obtained data on LGBT hate crimes involving assaults or assaults with battery between 2005 and 2008 from the Boston Police Department and linked the data to the adolescent’s residential address. The results the author found was sexual minority youth who resided in neighborhoods with higher rates of LGBT assault hate crimes were more likely to report suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, than those residing in neighborhoods with lower LGBT assault hate crime rates. The objective of the research was to examine whether in the past year LGBT hate crimes was more common in neighborhoods with higher rates of hate crimes targeting LGBT individuals. They didn’t find any relationship between neighborhood levels violent; property crimes and suicide among sexual minority adolescents, providing evidence for specificity of the results to LGBT assault hate crimes.

We all know that mental health plays a role in adolescents who try to commit suicide. So on top of being an adolescent and your going through all these hormonal changes, try to imagine yourself as a homosexual adolescent on top of all these changes now you have to try and hide the fact that you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This takes a toll on you never mind the fact when you come out of the closet. Jonathan Scourfield BA MA DipSW PhD, Katrina Roen BSc MSocSci PhD, and Liz McDermott BA MSc PhD during the research they did found that LGB were more likely than heterosexuals to have consulted a mental health professional, used recreational drugs, and self-harm themselves. This group of adolescents is underserved by health care services. It has also been documented that adolescent LGB have experienced bullying and victimization. Not saying that it’s right but no wonder the suicide rates are high on LGB community. They feel like they have no one to confide in especially if they don’t have a support system.

Michelle Burden Leslie, Judith A. Stein, and Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus did research on sex specific predictors of suicidality among runaway youth they examined 348 adolescent runaways and found 197 boys; 56% are African American age 16 using sex specific models that tested the impact of the three domains of the social action model: individual characteristics, interpersonal influences, and life events. Out of the 348 adolescents 25% of the girls and 14% of the boys had attempted suicide at least once. For male suicidal it was mainly predicted by individual characteristics: identifying themselves as gay, emotional distress, fewer conduct problems, and avoidant reasons for drug use. For interpersonal influence of suicidal friends also predicted suicidality, and variables from all three domains influenced girls: their individual characteristics of lower age, lower self-esteem, and emotional distress, also interpersonal influence of suicidal friends and life events of having lived on the streets and assaults. So all this to say their findings suggest sex specific interventions, but decreasing emotional distress and lessening the influence of suicidal friends may be useful for both boys and girls.

It’s amazing how we can be so blinded sometimes by thinking homosexual adolescent males who try or have committed suicide in the LGBT community only happens here in the United States. Thomas K. Pinhey PhD, and Sara R. Millman PhD. Did research on Asian Pacific Islander adolescent sexual orientation and suicide risk of youth in Guam. What they found was same sex orientation especially for boys have the greatest risk for suicide attempts. Dr. Pinhey and Dr. Millman also found adolescents who reported suffering physical abuse in the context of a romantic relationship, who engage in binge drinking, and who experience feelings of hopelessness were at greater risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. It’s amazing how they found that membership in the same racial/ethnic group decreased suicide risk for girls but it increased for boys. All this to say even though we all come from different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds our feelings are all the same whether we are homosexual or heterosexual.

It is well known that there is risk factors that help contribute to attempted suicides in homosexual adolescent. Some of the factors are no support at home when coming out, abandonment by friends, bullying in school and out of school. It’s already hard for homosexual adolescents to deal with the fact that they like the same gender because society makes them feel that it isn’t normal. To then be rejected by those that are close to you will make you feel hopeless and wanting to end your life.

Some people may have negative attitudes toward gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. These attitudes can lead to rejection by friends and family, discriminatory acts and violence, and laws and policies with negative consequences. If you are gay, bisexual, or a man who has sex with other men, homophobia, stigma, and discrimination can be especially hard for young men who are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. These negative attitudes increase their chance of experiencing violence, especially compared with other students in their schools. Violence can include behaviors such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical assault, and suicide related behaviors. According to the CDC gay and bisexual youth and other sexual minorities are more likely to be rejected by their families. This increases the possibility of them becoming homeless. Around 40% of homeless youth are LGBT. A study published in 2009 compared gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults who experienced strong rejection from their families with their peers who had more supportive families. The researchers found that those who experienced stronger rejection were about:

• 8 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide

• 6 times more likely to report high levels of depression

• 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs

• 3 times more likely to have risky sex

this is something that we have to educate people about so we can develop some type of support for the LGBT adolescent community.

It is well supported that adolescents who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual have a higher rate of nonfatal suicidal behavior then heterosexual adolescents. It has been suggested gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents at the coming out stage have a painful but unavoidable rite of passage for suicidal behavior. Jennifer Ellen Cato, and Silvia Sara Canetto asked this question. “Could this mean that suicidal behavior is considered understandable and even permissible behavior for LGB youths at this stage? In a case study they explored reactions to a suicidal decision when coming out was precipitant of the suicidal act. Ms. Cato and Ms. Canetto compared the attitudes of suicidal decision’s adolescents make when coming out and being rejected by their parents with attitudes of suicidal decision’s after experiencing other stressors such as physical illness, a relationship loss, or an academic failure. Ms. Cato and Ms. Canetto also touched upon suicidal behavior following coming out was not viewed in accepting terms, rather it was perceived as unsound and weak behavior.

LGBT adolescent community face risk factors just like a heterosexual adolescent they have low self-esteem, they feel isolated, they have guilt, they suffer with depression, and they have poor problem solving skills. The reasons these risk factors are so amplified are because they experience oppression and the stigma of being gay. Gay youth are challenged to give up an initial identity as heterosexual and then create the homosexual identity in a homophobic and homo-hostile environment. This identity formation process takes about 12 years to complete. It involves several stages and the accomplishment of critical development tasks (Troiden, 1989). During this developmental sequence, emerging gay and lesbian youth are exposed to the following 12 risk factors identified in the government’s report on suicidal youth (Gibson, 1989): 1. Society gay youth are strongly affected by the negative and hostile attitudes of society toward homosexuality. A National Gay Task Force (NGTF) survey of 2,100 lesbians and gay men showed that more than 90% had been victims of verbal or physical assault. (NGTF, 1984) 2. Self-Esteem. Gay youth often internalize a negative image of being bad or wrong or worthless based on the myths and false stereotypes society continues to hold about homosexuality. 3. Family Gay youth face more verbal and physical abuse from family members than do other youth. An NGTF survey found that 33% of gay males and lesbians reported verbal abuse from relatives because of their orientation, and 7% reported physical abuse. Research suggests that disclosure of sexual orientation to family results in conflict and distress in family relations (Savin-Williams, 1989). 4. Religion. Since many traditional and fundamentalist faiths portray homosexuality as morally wrong or evil, parents force youth to leave home if their homosexuality is seen as incompatible with the church\’s teachings. This is also significant because one\’s value system is established before a person becomes aware of his or her sexual orientation, regardless of what that orientation is. 5. School. In addition to failing to adequately protect gay youth against verbal and physical assaults, schools have not educated youth about homosexuality, which denies all students access to positive information and role models. 6. Social Isolation. Their non-gay peers reject gay adolescents who are open about their sexual orientation, and they seldom have contact with other gay adolescents or adults for support. These adolescents frequently report, “I thought I was the only one”. 7. Substance Abuse. Because the age of onset for substance use among youths coincides with the age that many youths are becoming aware of a gay or lesbian orientation, young people cope with many of these issues by using alcohol and drugs. 8. Professional Help. Some mental health professionals still refuse to support a homosexual orientation and may insist it is a mental illness or only a phase of development. 9. Youth Programs. Many foster families, group homes, and other social or recreational programs do not accept or support a gay adolescent. 10. Relationships with Lovers. Gay youth may not develop intimate relationships until a later age than other youth may have fewer skills to maintain relationships, and a break up may be seen as confirmation of earlier negative self-evaluations. 11. Independent Living. Gay youth are more likely than non-gay youth to be pressured to leave home prematurely and try to be self-sufficient. Since most are unprepared due to a lack of vocational training or completion of a high school education they are forced into homelessness. 12. AIDS. Young gay males may think that AIDS is an older man\’s disease, but many people diagnosed with the disease were infected as adolescents.

N. Eugene Walls, Stacey Freedenthal, and Hope Wisneski researched suicidal ideation and attempts among sexual minority youths receiving social services. These are the risk factors that they found; in general, numerous risk factors for youth suicide have been established. These risks include depression, substance abuse, conduct and other disruptive disorders, poor interpersonal problem-solving skills, family history of suicidal behavior and psychopathology, poor parent-child relationships, physical and sexual abuse, school and work problems, media exposure to suicidal behavior, and lower levels of religiosity and family cohesion (Gould, Greenberg, Velting, & Shaffer, 2003).

One would think that an individual who is reporting him or herself, as being bisexual would not have an increased risk of suicide attempts and ideation compared with their homosexual and heterosexual peers. But unfortunately the risk factors are high it includes related victimization, peer judgments, and family rejection. Bisexual individuals also reported higher rates of mental illness and substance abuse. Given this research, that was done by Dr. Pompili, Dr. Lester, Dr. Forte, Dr. Seretti, Dr. Erbuto, Dr. Lamis, Dr. Amore and Dr. Girardi the aim of the present article was to examine the relation between bisexuality and suicidal behaviors in current research and to ascertain specific risk factors associated with a bisexual orientation. Paul et al. [32] examined the lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts and suicidal ideation in 2,881 American men using a telephone-based survey, obtaining a sample that was disproportionately homosexual (84%). Homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual men did not differ significantly in ever having attempted suicide or the age when they attempted suicide, but more of the bisexual men had formulated a plan for suicide (30%) than the homosexual or heterosexual men (20% and 17%, respectively).

According to Dr. Silenzio, Dr. Pena, Dr. Duberstein, Dr. Cerel, and Dr. Knox; to our knowledge this is the first study to describe the relative differences in risk markers for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts between LGB persons and their peers. Sexual orientation was found to exert significant interaction effects with risk markers for both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Specifically, problem drug use was more strongly associated with suicidal ideation among non-LGB respondents than among LGB respondents. Similarly, the association between depression and suicide attempts was stronger among non-LGB respondents than among LGB respondents. Even though LGB youth at times use drugs as a means of forgetting for a moment all of the pain that they are going through, research is showing drugs is not the first choice for them. Consistent with earlier findings, the Doctor’s observed higher adjusted rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among LGB adolescents and young adults than among non-LGB respondents. It has been suggested that suicidal ideation or suicide attempts
may represent something far more different for LGB and non-LGB youths. In lieu of the consistently elevated risk found in this and in previous studies, which controlled for distinctive variables such as victimization or parental support, may be mediated by factors that have not yet been tapped in research. Despite the limitations of secondary data analyses, their findings point to the need for research targeting suicide related thoughts and behavior among LGB adolescents and young adults. They are not saying that addressing depression or problem drug use is not unimportant more information is needed about the nature and source of distress that is driving suicidal behavior in this population. The Doctor’s tentatively conclude that LGB adolescents and young adults may need a different treatment focus and alternative points of entry to health services. Clarification of risk factors specific to LGB individuals will be necessary to support the design and evaluation of suicide prevention interventions.

Being a gay adolescent is a significant risk factor by itself now adding suicidal thoughts and attempts makes it even more risky. More than 15 different studies conducted within the last 20 years have consistently showed significantly higher rates of suicide attempts, in the range of 20 to 40%, among gay adolescents (Gould et al., 2003; Goldfried, 2001; Heimberg & Safren, 1999; Paul et al., 2002; Russell & Joyner, 2001; D\’Augelli et al., 2001; Remafedi, 1999; Lock & Steiner, 1999; Garofalo et al., 1999; Borowsky et al., 2001; Udry & Chantala, 2002). Russell and Joyner (2001) were the first to use nationally representative data to support this association. In a study involving over 6,000 adolescent girls and over 5,000 adolescent boys, they concluded that adolescents with a same-sex orientation were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide. That’s an understatement because we don’t even know how many suicides occur without learning whether the person was gay? People commit suicide leaving family and friends asking, “Why?” We don’t know the reason why but we can assume it could be because of a secret they could not bear revealing such as being gay? A study done involving 350 gay adolescents between the ages of 14 and 21 reported that 54% made their first suicide attempt before coming out to others, 27% made the attempt during the same year they came out, and 19% made the attempt after coming out (D\’Augelli et al, 2001). This is a cry for help. We need to do something to help LGBT adolescent community. Since being a gay adolescent is a risk factor for suicide, it needs to be addressed within the medical community. Physicians can help by raising the issue when appropriate on rounds, in case conferences, or during lectures. Addressing the issue of sexuality with adolescents can be made easier and more effective if the physician understands why it is so unbearable for some adolescents to reveal their sexuality or to live with being gay.

Curtis D. Proctor and Victor K. Groze did an article based on risk factors for suicide among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths they found that in 44% of the case subjects attributed their attempts to family problems, and 33% attributed their attempts to personal or interpersonal turmoil. Usually about one third of attempted suicides occur within the same year adolescents identify themselves as gay or bisexual. About 30% report that they suffer with depression, and 22% report having problems with their peers. In another study within this same article adolescents report feeling social isolation, angry, depressed, high levels of stress, feeling inadequate, and having feelings of sexual identity difficulties. They also found those who attempted suicide had significant parental alcoholism problems, had family physical abuse, and families who themselves had attempted suicide. Interestingly Mr. Proctor and Mr. Groze found no difference between gay and non-gay adolescents suicide attempts relating to acceptance or rejection from key supports on coming out. Indicating that the lack of family support may not be the key factor in gay and lesbian suicide.

In the Netherlands Institute for Social Research data, they examined and collected between May and August 2009, on 274 Dutch lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths. The data showed that victimization at school was associated with suicidal ideation and actual suicide attempts. Homophobic rejection by parents was also associated with actual suicide attempts. Suicidality in this population could be reduced by supporting coping strategies of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths who are confronted with stigmatization by peers and parents, and by schools actively promoting acceptance of same-sex sexuality. (Am J Public Health. 2013;103:70–72. doi:10.210). Once again the research done by Dr. van Bergen, Dr. Bos, Ms. Lisdonk, Dr. Keuzenkamp, and Dr. Sandfort shows that this is a national problem that we have to address.

In contrast to the growing body of literature on sexual orientation and suicide, there is less systematic evidence on the extent to which gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are at greater risk of mental health problems, according to S. McAndrew and T. Warne although there is a widespread belief this particular group of young people are at greater risk (D’Augelli 1996, Garofalo et al. 1998). Noell & Ochs (2001) found that gay, lesbian and ‘unsure’ youths were less likely to have been in foster care or arrested, but were more likely to have spent time in a locked mental health treatment facility. D’Augelli et al. (1998) also found that males who did not fit the stereotypical expectations of their gender were more likely to experience abuse, which can be linked to a range of negative mental health problems, including suicidality. In a 21-year longitudinal study carried out by Fergusson et al. (1999), subjects classified as gay, lesbian or bisexual were found to be at an increased lifetime risk of suicidal ideation and behavior, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, conduct disorder and nicotine dependence, in comparison with their heterosexual counterparts.

In order to help our homosexual adolescents we need to see what efforts are being made to assist youth at risk and prevent self-destructive behavior. We can start in our school system. Professional school counselors are developing and implementing comprehensive, developmental school guidance programs (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994). Mr. McFarland states the developmental guidance model has several basic assumptions, some of which are that guidance is for all students; guidance is a planned program with written objectives, activities, and student outcomes; and guidance serves a preventive as well as remedial function. This program models, the professional services a counselor, a coordinator, and a consultant can give to a student to help them with their transition. The developmental program has a structure that consists of four program components:

• Guidance curriculum

• Responsive services

• Individual planning

• Program management

It is through these components that the guidance program is implemented. Each of these four components makes an impact on the reduction and elimination of gay, lesbian, and bisexual student suicides as well as most adolescent suicides. The core of a developmental guidance program is the guidance curriculum, which is delivered through the classroom by either the teacher or the counselor (Myrick, 1993). These structured, sequential, and systematic classroom activities will help address developmental domains such as personal/social development, career and vocational development, and academic development. Through instruction in the personal/social developmental domain, teachers can develop lessons about differences and diversity in a democratic way, and also talk about pluralistic society. At age-appropriate levels, information about gay and lesbian people can be presented using curriculum materials either developed on site or material available for purchase. Lipkin (1992b) has developed high school curriculum on topics such as gay and lesbian literature for use in English classes, the history of gays and lesbians in the United States (Lipkin, 1992c) for use in Social Studies classes, and the history and nature of homosexuality (Lipkin, 1992d) for use in Biology or Psychology classes. To help assist teachers and counselors in feeling comfortable with talking about homosexuality and help in curriculum development and implementation, Lipkin (1992a) has also developed a resource titled Strategies for the Teacher Using Gay/Lesbian-Related Materials in the High School Classroom. Educational interventions like these curriculum units may decrease the stigma that all students attach to homosexuality and thereby create a safe, supportive, and caring environment for gay, lesbian and bisexual students.

Despite a robust literature documenting increased risk for certain negative health outcomes in LGBQ adolescents, the vast majority of sexual minority youth are resilient to these risk factors and follow healthy developmental trajectories (Savin-Williams, 2001). To better explore the emergence of positive outcomes despite evident adversity, calls have been made to build research on how protective factors may encourage resilience and decrease risk among LGBQ youth (Herrick, Stall, Goldhammer, Egan, & Mayer, 2014; Mustanski, Newcomb, & Garofalo, 2011; Wexler, DiFluvio, & Burke, 2009). A fuller understanding of the social environment surrounding these processes may be particularly important for at-risk adolescents, as youth are uniquely dependent on and accountable to the social systems (e.g., families, schools, peer groups) surrounding them (Bronfenbrenner, 1994). However, few studies to date have examined how these risk and resilience factors simultaneously work with one another and interact with the environmental context LGBQ adolescents live in today. Resilience resources have been defined as positive factors that are external to the individual and that help youth overcome risk (Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005). Examples of these external resources are having family support, having a supportive adult in school or adult mentor, community engagement (e.g., volunteering, participating in clubs and extracurricular activities), and positive peer engagement (e.g., sports team involvement), all of which have been found to moderate risk in youth generally (Blum, McNeely, & Nonnemaker, 2002). Indeed, there is evidence that various resilience resources positively influence the healthy development of sexual minority youth. For example, acceptance following adolescents disclosing their sexual orientation to their family has been associated with reduced depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation and increased self-esteem (Ryan, Russell, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2010). Similarly, supportive school environments have been documented to support the well being of sexual minority youth (Birkett, Espelage, & Koeing, 2009). Other commonly protective sources of resilience (e.g., positive peer relationships, community involvement) have not been as well explored among sexual minority youth (Saewyc, 2011). However, the converse of many of these (e.g., peer victimization, family rejection) has been examined as risk factors (Bontempo & D’Augelli, 2002; D’Augelli, Hershberger, & Pilington, 1998; D’Augelli, Pilington, & Hershberger, 2002; Ryan et al., 2009). This absence in the literature further highlights the need to expand our understanding of common resilience resources among minority youth in a fully contextualized risk and resilience perspective (Herrick et al., 2014; Savin-Williams, 2001). Resilience resources are defined as theoretically distinct from assets, which refer to promote positive factors that reside within the individual (i.e., individual differences). Examples of positive factors include competency, coping skills, and self- efficacy (Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005). Further, individual differences in coping skills, such as emotion regulation, improve with cognitive development (Lewis & Stieben, 2004). These person-centered protective factors (i.e., skills) are also likely to be most protective in the presence of supportive environments where resilience resources are high (i.e., sensitivity to context; Belsky & Pluess, 2009). Therefore, identifying modifiable environmental influences such as family, school, and peer support for vulnerable adolescents that will promote healthy growth is likely to be a broadly beneficial strategy for youth.

Savin- Williams (1989a) surveyed 214 gay men and 103 lesbians ages from 14 to 23 from different types of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. As far as the lesbians the greater the degree of parental acceptance of the adolescent’s homosexuality, he more likely they were to feel comfortable being gay. Mr. Proctor and Mr. Groze also found self-esteem was highest among gay males whose parents were more accepting of their sexual orientation. Although, this study assessed youth’s perception of their parents and not the parent’s actual attitudes, I would have liked for Mr. Proctor and Mr. Groza to have actually assessed the parents themselves. It’s also helpful to homosexual adolescent boys to have a good and healthy relationship with their fathers. Although, it has been reported that self-esteem is high among gay boys when they have a relationship with both parents, it’s more crucial for them to have high self-esteem when their mothers know and accept their sexual orientation.

In 1973 many mental health professionals opposed a referendum to remove homosexuality from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-III) (American Psychiatric Association 1980). I believe that was the best decision they had made. Homosexuality is not a disease or something you can diagnose and cure. Standard 1 of the National Service Framework for Mental Health (DoH 1999), the main thrust of which is to improve services and reduce the incidence of suicide, identifies the need for mental health promotion suggesting that a program be carried out in schools, workplaces and communities. As both the National Service Framework for Mental Health (DoH 1999) and the National Health Service Plan (DoH 2000) firmly identify the role of the mental health nurse as working at a secondary and tertiary level, what needs to be questioned is who, with the appropriate expertise, will deliver an effective primary prevention program. Making it Happen: A Guide to Delivering Mental Health Promotion (DoH 2001) identifies community mental health teams as having a key role in ‘the provision of mental wellbeing in the areas they serve but again the National Health Service Plan (DoH 2000) has focused their work with those who have severe and enduring mental health problems leaving mental health promotion still at the bottom of the toting poll. Consensus of opinion (Stolorow & Brandchaft 1987) suggests that to enjoy mental health one needs to be true to one’s own identity and develop a positive self-concept. The positive nurturing of children is crucial to this process and to deny the child’s sexual identity through a restrictive program of mental health promotion would only compromise the effectiveness of mental health professional practice.

Are there any gaps in the research on what is being done to help homosexual youth deal with the entire stigma they face. If so what are the gaps in research? The characteristics of the LGBT homeless youth population the reasons that LGBT youth may face increased risk of homelessness and poor sexual health outcomes and factors that may minimize these risks are not well understood. Future research should explore the size composition and needs of the LGBT homeless youth population. These studies could compare the characteristics and needs of LGBT homeless youth are similar to or different from their non-LGBT counterparts. Increases or reduction of homelessness and poor sexual health among LGBT youth needs to be further investigated. Studies are needed to identify individual, family, and community characteristics including policy environments that affect the likelihood that LGBT youth will become homeless or engage in risky sexual behavior. Additional data are needed to examine risk among subpopulations of LGBT youth including youth of color and transgender youth (www.acf.hhs.gov). I agree not enough information is researched in identifying the gaps in helping the LGBT adolescent community. This is a crucial topic and we have to help our LGBT youth find better solutions to the coming out process.


My hypothesis: homosexual adolescent depressed boys are more likely than homosexual adolescent depressed girls to commit suicide. The independent variable is gender, and the dependent variable is commit suicide. For purposes of the study, the age range for adolescents is 14-16 years old High School age. I will require 80% attendance for the purpose of this research in order to get accurate data. I will be using the beck depression scale to determine who is depressed and I will be using self-report to identify the gender. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a 21-item, self-report rating inventory that measures characteristic attitudes and symptoms of depression (Beck, et al., 1961). The beck depression inventory takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, and participants require a fifth or sixth grade reading level to adequately understand the questions. The purpose of self-report is I cannot define anyone’s gender, so I will be asking each adolescent what gender do they identify themselves with.

Research Design

I’m doing a quasi-experimental design. It is essential that both groups be as similar as possible so that the only significant difference between them is the independent variable gender. For purposes of this study, the participants will be adolescents ages 14-16 from low-income families of Hispanic decent. The design can be diagramed as follows the basic two-group design:



The procedures for the study will be as follows. After the sample is selected, both groups will immediately take a survey questionnaire.


My survey participants will be adolescents between the ages of 14 to 16 who receive services at Rainbow Alley, a New York area program of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of the Bronx. The program provides support, education, advocacy, and social activities for sexual minority youths and their allies. Surveys will be administered and participation will be requested of all center participants during a three-week period, and data will not be collected until at least 80% of the surveys are completed.

Data Collection

The beck depression inventory will be distributed at the Rainbow Alley, a New York area program of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of the Bronx. I will give the beck inventory to willing Hispanic adolescents. I will let them know that 80% participation is needed. If they feel they cannot give 80% participation please do not fill out the beck depression inventory survey. In order for me to know what gender they identify themselves with I will ask and record each participates answer.

Data Analysis

Adolescent Homosexual Depressed Boys Adolescent Homosexual Depressed Girls

High Probability to Commit Suicide

Low Probability to Commit Suicide

Data will be analyzed for significant differences by appropriate statistical techniques.

Characteristics of

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