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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 1999 June;40(2):75-80

language: Italian

Suicide attempts among gay male adolescents

Pietrantoni L.


Background. Epidemiological studies showed a sharp increase of suicide behaviours in adolescence in the last two decades and studies on human sexuality noted high rates of suicide among homosexual youth. This study aimed to understand the main features about suicide attempts among gay male youths and the difference between suicide attempters and non attempters.
Methods. Subjects of the study were 64 self-identified homosexual males aged 14 to 22. The instruments were a structured interview and a questionnaire regarding sex role orientation, egodystonic homosexuality, depression, family and social background.
Results. About one fourth of the samples reported almost one suicide attempt and the reported motivations were both related and non related to homosexuality. Suicide attempters were more likely to be gender non conformed, to discover their sexual orientation earlier and to deal with family unacceptance and other psychosocial problems.
Conclusions. Adolescent suicide prevention programmes should include sexual orientation issues and identify homosexual people more vulnerable to breakdown and more prone to self-destructive behaviours.

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