Researchers Assess Gay Youths' Mental Health12/08/10
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- One third of lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adolescents have attempted suicide
in their lifetime, but most of them are mentally strong, new U.S.
A team at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted
psychiatric interviews with 246 ethnically diverse LGBT youth, aged
16-20, to assess them for major depression, post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD), conduct disorder and suicide attempts.
About 70 percent of the youth met no criteria for any mental
disorders, but 15 percent met criteria for major depression and
nearly 10 percent met criteria for PTSD. The study found that
one-third of the youths had made a suicide attempt at some point in
their life, and 6 percent had made a suicide attempt in the last
The prevalence of mental disorders among LGBT youth was higher
than that in the general population, but comparable to that of
urban and minority youth, the researchers noted.
"One of the most important findings from our work is that most of these [LGBT] youth are doing very well and are not experiencing mental health problems," study author Dr. Brian Mustanski, an assistant professor of psychiatry, said in a UIC news release.
"The big question is, are these youth more likely to have mental disorders relative to other kids? And the answer to that is that it really depends on who you're comparing them to," he added.
The study appears online and in the December print issue of the
American Journal of Public Health.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has more
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