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Minority Stressors and Suicidal Ideation in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Assigned Female at Birth: Prospective Associations and Racial Differences

Lawlace M, Newcomb ME, Whitton SW.

Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

Introduction: Suicidal ideation (SI) disproportionately affects sexual and gender minority (SGM) versus cisgender/heterosexual youth, likely due to the minority stressors (MS) they face. Research has shown cross-sectional associations between SGM MS and suicidality; however, few studies have used longitudinal data or examined racial differences in the effects of MS on SI. The current study tested whether MS prospectively predict next-year SI and whether race moderates these prospective associations.

Method: Three hundred and sixty-nine Black, Latinx, and White SGM youth completed baseline measures of MS, SI, and demographics, and SI 6 and 12 months later.

Results: Internalized stigma, microaggressions, and low support from family and from significant others demonstrated associations with next-year SI. When controlling for baseline SI, however, only low significant other support predicted next-year SI. Moderation analyses indicated that internalized stigma predicted SI for White, but not Black or Latinx, individuals and that lower friend support was associated with SI for Latinx, but not White or Black, individuals.

Conclusions: Though minority stressors appear to raise risk for SI among SGM, effects may differ by race. Internalized stigma may be particularly influential for SI among White SGM whereas lack of support from friends may be most influential for SI among Latinx SGM youth.

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