Adult support of bullied LGB youths tied to fewer suicide attempts

Adult support of bullied LGB youths tied to fewer suicide attempts

(Reuters Health) – Bullied lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students are less likely to fight and attempt suicide when they feel connected to an adult at school, suggests a new study.

Helping these lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) kids develop meaningful connections with adults at school could minimize the negative impacts of cyber and school bullying, researchers say.

“The findings of our study highlight the difference teachers can make in the lives of LGB (and transgender) youth who are victims of bullying,” said Jeffrey Duong, the study’s lead author from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health in Baltimore.

Duong co-authored the paper with Catherine Bradshaw, who is an associate dean at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

“Simple gestures such as reaching out to sexual minority youth who might have been victimized, and developing meaningful and supportive connections with them, might buffer them from the consequences of bullying,” Duong told Reuters Health in an email.

Duong and Bradshaw examined information from 951 self-identified LGB high school students who completed the New York City Youth Risk Behavioral Survey during the fall of 2009.

Overall, 72 percent said they were not bullied. About 8 percent said they were bullied in school, about 10 percent were bullied online and about 10 percent were being bullied both in school and online.

The researchers report that the kids’ risks for being involved in a fight and attempting suicide tended to increased with the amount they were bullied.

For example, about 72 percent of those who reported being bullied online and in school engaged in a physical fight, compared to about 36 percent of kids who said they were not bullied.

Additionally, about 44 percent of students who reported being bullied both online and in school reported suicide attempts, compared to about 20 percent of kids who weren’t bullied.

The researchers found, however, that students who didn’t feel a connection to an adult were more likely to fight and attempt suicide if they were also bullied, compared to those who weren’t bullied.

In contrast, those who were bullied and felt a connection with an adult at school
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Adult support of bullied LGB youths tied to fewer suicide attempts – Reuters

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