Anxiety and Depression Association of America Annual Meeting
Anxiety and Depression Association of America Annual Meeting
April 13, 2016
1 min read

Sexual identity, family conflict affect LGBQ, heterosexual youth similarly

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PHILADELPHIA — Data presented here indicated family conflict did not play a role between LGBQ status and depression or suicidal ideation among LGBQ youth at high-risk for suicide.

“Research has shown that youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) or questioning (Q) are twice as likely to report a history of suicidal ideation compared to heterosexual persons,” Dana Isaacson, MSN, of Drexel University, Philadelphia, and colleagues wrote. “Although higher risk for depression and [suicidal ideation] among LGBQ individuals has been well documented in community samples, it is unclear if the same holds true in high risk samples. Furthermore, specific risk or protective factors among LGBQ persons [that] contribute to [suicidal ideation] are unknown in general and high risk samples alike.”

To determine clinical risk factors for high-risk LGBQ youth and examine familial conflict as an environmental risk factor, researchers analyzed data for 115 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, who had moderate depression and severe suicidal ideation. Adolescents participated in a randomized controlled trial assessing efficacy of Attachment-Based Family Therapy.

Statistical analysis indicated that high-risk LGBQ adolescents reported significantly higher levels of depression (P = .015) and emotional dysregulation (P = .024) than their heterosexual peers.

Family conflict did not moderate the relationship between LGBQ status and depression or suicidal ideation, according to researchers.

“Sexual identity and negative family experiences were just as impactful for LGBQ youth as for heterosexual youth. Future clinical practice and research needs to focus on identifying other factors moderating increased levels of depression and suicidality in LGBQ adolescents,” the researchers concluded. – by Amanda Oldt


Isaacson D, et al. Identifying the moderating factors in depression and suicidality in LGBQ adolescents: Implications for clinical practice and future research. Presented at: Anxiety and Depression Association of America Conference; March 31-April 3, 2016; Philadelphia.

Disclosure: was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.