1. Kayyali, Andrea MSN, RN
  2. Rosenberg, Karen
  3. Singh Joy, Subhashni D.


According to this study:


* A survey of middle and high school students indicates that straight students may have a lower risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts, victimization, and truancy than those of other sexual orientations.



Article Content

A new study provides the results of a 117-item survey of 13,213 middle and high school students concerning sexual orientation and suicidal behavior, drug use, bullying, and victimization. The survey was taken by 3,826 middle school students (grades 7 and 8) and 9,387 high school students (grades 9 through 12) at 30 Wisconsin schools. Five percent of students identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). Among this group, 23% indicated that they had seriously considered suicide rarely or some of the time within the previous month, and 3% said they considered it almost all the time. These rates were significantly higher than those among straight students, 8% of whom had considered suicide rarely or some of the time and 0.4% of whom had considered it almost all the time in the previous month. Similarly, 6% of LGBTQ students reported that they had attempted suicide within the past year, compared with 2% of their straight peers.


Eighty-one percent of straight students had not been a victim of online bullying, compared with 66% of LGBTQ students. And more LGBTQ students reported skipping classes (22% in middle school, 21% in high school) than did straight students (7% in middle school, 14% in high school). Levels of "belongingness" (feeling a part of the school community) remained stable among LGBTQ students from middle school to high school, while belongingness among straight students decreased, yet in both age groups, belongingness was lower among LGBTQ students than among straight students.


The authors note two trends identified by the survey data: most LGBTQ students didn't think about or attempt suicide, weren't victimized, and didn't skip school; however, these students were at significantly higher risk for all three than their straight peers.-SDSJ




Robinson JP, Espelage DL Educational Researcher. 2011;40(7):315-30