US: Teen sexual identity, childhood trauma linked to suicidal behaviors

(Reuters Health) - - Both LGBQ sexual identity and traumatic experiences in childhood are linked to a heightened risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, U.S. researchers say.  

Teens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or are questioning their sexual identity are also more likely than their heterosexual peers to have had adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in childhood, the study team reports in Journal of Adolescent Health.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults and there is evidence that suicide rates are increasing in this age group, they write. 

“It is imperative that we identify adolescent populations at greatest risk to guide our prevention efforts,” lead author Kristen Clements-Nolle, of the School of Community Health Sciences of the University of Nevada, Reno, told Reuters Health by email.

To examine the relationships among teen sexual identity, childhood trauma and suicide risk, Clements-Nolle and colleagues enrolled approximately 5,000 students from 97 high schools in Nevada to fill out questionnaires and answer questions about their sexual identity and exposure to adverse childhood experiences. Read more via Reuters