Source: Shields JP, Whitaker K, Glassman J, et al. Impact of victimization on risk of suicide among lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students in San Francisco. J Adolesc Health. 2012;50(4):418-420; doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.07009. See AAP Grand Rounds commentary by Dr. Mary Ramos (subscription required).
Question: Among high school students, what is the effect of victimization and sexual orientation on suicide risk?
Question type: Harm/Causation
Study design: Cross-sectional cohort
This study, from researchers in San Francisco using data from the CDC's 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, examined the role of victimization on suicide risk in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) high school students. Victimization was measured on a 5-item scale that queried specific events in the prior year: being bullied, skipped school for safety concerns, got in a physical fight, injured in a fight, and threatened or injured with a weapon at school. The authors found a significant interaction effect between victimization and sexual orientation in adolescents having made a suicide plan, which was one of three questions related to suicide. Victimization significantly increased the odds for suicide planning of heterosexual, but not LBG, youth. However, LGB youth had higher odds of suicide planning than both victimized and nonvictimized heterosexual youth, though for the former group this was not statistically significant.
The article itself is only three pages, but it represents a very careful statistical analysis, and results are explained concisely. Kudos to the authors!
I think Dr. Ramos summed it up very nicely in her commentary: "Among adolescents, violence prevention is also suicide prevention."