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Arch Suicide Res. 2015;19(4):472-88. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2015.1004476. Epub 2015 Mar 12.

Religious Conflict, Sexual Identity, and Suicidal Behaviors among LGBT Young Adults.


This is the first known study to explore how religious identity conflict impacts suicidal behaviors among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young adults and to test internalized homophobia as a mediator. A secondary analysis of 2,949 youth was conducted using a national dataset collected by OutProud in 2000. Three indicators of identity conflict and an internalized-homophobia scale (mediator), were included in logistic regressions with three different suicide variable outcomes. Internalized homophobia fully mediates one conflict indicator and partially mediates the other two indicators' relationship with suicidal thoughts. Internalized homophobia also fully mediates the relationship between one conflict indicator and chronic suicidal thoughts. Two indicators were associated with twice the odds of a suicide attempt. LGBT young adults who mature in religious contexts have higher odds of suicidal thoughts, and more specifically chronic suicidal thoughts, as well as suicide attempt compared to other LGBT young adults. Internalized homophobia only accounts for portions of this conflict.


LGBT; identity; religion; suicide; young adults

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