Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 36 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2012 Pages: 645-655
This study examined whether rates of child abuse, homelessness, and intimate partner violence were higher among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth relative to heterosexual youth.
Findings from this study on rates of abuse, homelessness and intimate partner violence among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth include the following: lesbian and gay youth were at greater risk for exposure to child abuse and homelessness, while bisexual youth were at greater risk of exposure to child abuse, homelessness, and intimate partner violence (IPV), relative to heterosexual youth; and higher rates of exposure to child abuse, homelessness, and IPV explained between 10 and 20 percent of the higher rates of suicidality, depression, tobacco use, and symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youths compared to heterosexuals. This study examined whether rates of child abuse, housing adversity, and IPV were higher among a sample of LGB youth relative to heterosexual youth. Data for the study were obtained from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Wave 3. The sample of youth included 227 gay/lesbian youth, 245 bisexual youth, and 13,490 heterosexual youth. The data was analyzed to determine the relationship between LGB youths' exposure to these adversities and symptoms of psychopathology among these youth. The findings suggest that exposure to victimization, particularly child abuse, homelessness, and exposure to IPV in adolescence can partially explain the higher rates of mental health and substance use outcomes among LGB youth. Study limitations are discussed. Tables and references
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