Sexual minority youth and suicide risk

Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Numerous studies spanning the past quarter century have used varied designs and methods in multiple settings and have consistently demonstrated that sexual minority youth are among those most likely to report suicidality (suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts). This article reviews the methodological challenges that have defined and limited research in this area, including issues of sampling, the measurement of sexual minority status, and the measurement of suicide risk. Attention is then given to risk and protective factors for suicide among sexual minority youth. Normative risk and protective factors, those common to all youth, and risk and protective factors unique to sexual minority youth are reviewed. In closing, attention is given to the state of suicide prevention and intervention efforts that target sexual minority youth, along with recommendations for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1257
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Gay and lesbian
  • Sexual minority
  • Sexual orientation
  • Suicide
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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