Asher IJ (1997).What are the perceptions of five gay and lesbian youth as to the factors that caused them to attempt to commit suicide? ED.D. Thesis. DAI, Vol. 58-03A, p. 748, 181 pages.
Abstract by author: There has recently been great concern in the United States about reports of increased suicide amongst the young. This concern is based upon the rate of suicides in 15- to 19-year olds which has tripled from 3.6 per 100,000 people in 1960 to 11.3 per 100,000 in 1988, whereas the rates of suicide have increased only slightly in the total population (Garland & Zigler, 1993, pp. 169-182). A study using a large, nationally representative sample found that 31% of 8th graders and 36% of 10th graders reported having thought at some point in their lives about committing suicide, while 13% of 8th graders and 15% of 10th graders reported having attempted suicide (Windle, et al., 1992, pp. 317-330). According to Holinger, 1979 (pp. 1144-1147), suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents in the United States, being exceeded only by accidents and homicide. While there is a substantial body of literature uses quantitative methodology to address the particular challenges and stressors facing adolescents in general, few articles address the effects of one's homosexuality on adolescent suicide.
Gay and lesbian youth belong to two groups at high risk of suicide: youth and homosexuals. A majority of suicide attempts by homosexuals occur during their youth, and gay youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than any other adolescents. They may comprise up to 30% of completed youth suicides annually (Report of the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide, 1989). As important as these quantitative studies are, the research for this dissertation will employ a qualitative approach to further understand the experiences of six gay men and lesbians in their twenties who as adolescents made a serious attempt on their own lives. This research will attempt to address the paucity of ethnographic studies related to this topic. Thus, the purpose in selecting these six cases is to extend our intellectual and emotional understanding of the phenomena for the high rate of suicide among gay and lesbian adolescents in America in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Research questions include (1) commonalities in suicidal behavior among gay and lesbian adolescents; (2) what is going on here; (3) how do these six young people make sense of their world and their experience; (4) how can high schools help these young people through their stressful journey. This sampling is not meant to achieve population validity or to represent accurately this defined population. The intent is to achieve an in-depth understanding of selected individuals. However, in selecting these six cases, it is expected that the analysis of their histories will yield data from which a broadly applicable theory can be constructed.
Brady SM (1983).The relationship between differences in stages of homosexual identity formation and background characteristics, psychological well-being and homosexual adjustment. PH.D. Thesis, University of California, Santa barbara, DAI Vol. 45-10B, p. 3328, 196 pages.
Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine the relationship between subject stage of homosexual identity formation and background characteristics, psychological well-being and homosexual adjustment; and (b) to assess the validity of the Homosexual Identity Formation (HIF) Model proposed by Cass (1979).
The subjects who participated in this study were 225 males who reported having homosexual thoughts or feelings or had engaged in homosexual behavior. All subjects completed a paper and pencil measure developed and validated by the researcher, the Homosexual Identity Questionnaire (HIQ), and the Background Questionnaire. The HIQ was used to identify subjects in discrete stages of HIF, while the Background Questionnaire was used to provide information about the demographic, psychographic and homosexual adjustment of subjects.
On the basis of the 225 subjects' responses to the instruments, 196 individuals were included in tests of the hypotheses examining the relationship between the following subject stages of HIF and their responses to the Background Questionnaire: (a) stage three (tolerance); (b) stage four (acceptance); (c) stage five (pride); and (d) stage six (synthesis). Subjects identified in stage one (confusion) and stage two (comparison) were excluded from tests of the hypotheses because they were not identified in sufficient numbers in either stage to employ the statistical procedures used in this study.
The results of the present study indicated an overall significant relationship between subject stage of HIF and psychological well-being, as well as homosexual adjustment. The only background characteristic which was significantly related to HIF stage was occupation. More specifically, subjects identified in stage four were more likely to describe themselves as professionals and subjects belonging to stage three were more likely to be students, compared to subjects in other stages of HIF. In terms of psychological well-being, post-hoc comparisons between stages revealed subjects identified in stage three (tolerance) reported having significantly less psychological well-being compared to their counterparts in stages four, five and six who were not significantly different from one another on this variable.
Psychological well-being was assessed on the basis of subject response to eight items measuring happiness, loneliness, worry, sexual satisfaction, mental health, physical health, being nice and having suicidal thoughts.....
Cano KM (1997) Surviving streets, substance abuse, and sex. M.S.W. Thesis, California State University, MAI Vol. 36-01, p. 83, 58 pages.
Abstract by author: This exploratory study explored the characteristics and support needs of homeless, runaway youth, and young adults who were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered. The youth responded to questions regarding: physical health, medical and dental care, HIV testing, support services utilized, career goals, alcohol and substance abuse, depression, suicide ideation, sexual orientation, living situation, and if there were contact with parents or family members. In addition, they were asked if the Department of Children and Family Services would be a service they would use to obtain assistance.
For these homeless and runaway youth and young adults, the risk factors were depression, substance abuse, problem solving, living situations, and suicide ideation. The youth were in conflict with their own individual identification which caused them to feel isolated, lonely, and depressed. The social services which were provided to the youth and young adults were not regularly used for reasons not disclosed.
Carter BA (1994). The development of an empirically validated model curriculum on suicidology. PH.D. Thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, DAI, Vol. 56-04B, p. 2317, 283 pages.
Abstract by author: This study represents the pilot testing of a new instrument designed to measure mental health professionals' suicide related knowledge as part of the larger goal of developing a possible model curriculum as a training tool in the field of suicidology. There was a 71.62% response rate, providing 51 valid questionnaires. Reliability analysis yielded an overall alpha of .5221. Inter-item correlations were also acceptable (see Appendix B). However, item-to-total correlations were rather low with several questions showing negative correlations with the total score, raising doubts regarding the overall reliability and validity of the instrument.
Questionnaire items were designed to reflect the different content areas of suicidology contained within the proposed suicide curriculum. In order to achieve this goal, a minimum of one item was chosen to represent each of the different content areas as outlined in the curriculum (epidemiology, demographics, assessment, risk factors, predictors, treatment, management, special risk groups, special populations, legal/ethical issues, research, consultation, risk management, and postvention).
These findings indicate that the informational areas most in need of strengthening would include: (a) the ubiquity of encountering suicidal patients in clinical practice (Q1); (b) suicide trends in ethnic minority groups (Q13); (c) suicide trends in gay and lesbian populations (26); (d) suicide risk factors in schizophrenic populations (Q17); (e) empirical findings regarding the use of no-suicide contracts (Q21); (f) postvention care of suicide survivors (Q18); and (g) understanding/identifying suicidal intent and communications (Q10 & 11).
No known empirical data exists that addresses the question of what clinicians should know about suicidality, furthermore there is little information regarding what kinds of skills clinicians should possess in order to handle suicidal patients. As such, the current study represents an initial attempt to measure what the clinicians already know about suicidology, and what areas of knowledge are weak. Given the empirical data that suggested suicide training helps to reduce therapist's fear and anxiety in dealing with suicidal patients (Kleespies, 1993; Kleespies, Penk, & Forsyth, 1993; Mahrer, 1993), this would appear to be a fertile area for future research.
In addition to the suicide related information collected, a descriptive profile of the mental health professionals was developed through the collection of demographic data from the respondents of the questionnaire. Should this study be refined and tested on larger samples, the descriptive data collected should provide for comparisons across a variety of categories both within and between the different mental health professions.
Debord KA (1995). The relevance of sexual orientation to substance abuse and psychological distress among college students. PH.D. Thesis, University of Missouri - Columbia, DA Vol. 57-09B, p. 5913, 106 pages.
Abstract by author: The current study was unique in its comparison of heterosexual and gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) substance use patterns across the four years following college entry.
Overall, GLB students were found to be more alcohol involved than heterosexual students. No differences in drug involvement, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation or attempts were found between GLBs and heterosexuals.
Evidence suggested that year-two psychological distress differentially predicted year-two and year-three alcohol dependence for GLBs and heterosexuals, with stronger distress-dependence relations being evinced for GLBs.
Finally, the process of self-identifying as GLB was not found to have developmental properties in the current study. The largest number of GLB participants self-identified as GLB in the last year of the study.
Dohaney KE (1995). Hopelessness, coming out, and suicide ideation and attempts among gay and lesbian youth. M.S. Thesis, University of Nevada, MAI, Vol. 34-01, p. 0415, 106 pages.
Abstract by author: This preliminary study sought to add to information on the coming out experience, suicide ideation and attempts among gay and lesbian youth. Using an ecological systems framework, the study examined level of hopelessness before, during, and after the coming out process; hopelessness at the present time; level of disclosure of homosexual orientation; hostility/rejection encountered with coming out; and the prevalence of suicide ideation, attempts, and the likelihood of future attempts.
The questionnaire, completed by 20 subjects, included Beck's Hopelessness Scale. Chi square analysis suggested that homosexual adolescents experience greatest hopelessness before and during coming out. No subjects reported a low level of disclosure, and over half reported no hostile/rejecting reactions from others. Suicide ideation (n = 10) and attempts (n = 5) were reported during all phases of the coming out process. The possibility of future suicide attempts was reported by four of the five participants who had made previous attempts.
Publication No. 1375528
Fenaughty, John J (2000). Life on the seesaw: an assessment of suicide risk and resiliency for bisexual and gay male youth in Aotearoa / New Zealand. Master's Thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, New Zealand.
Abstract: While considerable research has highlighted the factors that increase lesbian, bisexual and gay (L/B/G) youth suicide risk, there has been much less emphasis on resiliency factors. Using the existing literature and grounded theory methodology, the interaction between suicide risk and resiliency was explored in interviews with eight young gay men in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Common risk and resiliency themes emerged. Factors that appeared to increase risk included heterosexist victimisation, rejection, social isolation, internalised homophobia, social withdrawal, depression, HIV-anxiety, and substance abuse. Resiliency factors appeared to include positive societal acceptance, support groups, positive L/B/G media representations, social support, high self-esteem, and the availability of L/B/G role models. These risk and resiliency factors were integrated to form the Seesaw Model of Bisexual and Gay Male Suicide. Depending on the weight of the respective risk and resiliency factors, gay and bisexual male youth might either come-out ‘resilient’, suicide, or teeter somewhere in between.
To assess the validity of the Seesaw model, 111 non-exclusively heterosexual male identified participants aged between 16 and 26 completed a questionnaire assessing these risk and resiliency factors. Participants were classified into two dichotomous pairs: attempters and non-attempters, and participants who had serious thoughts of suicide/made suicide plans and those who had not. The quantitative findings verified most factors in the original Seesaw Model, and further indicated other significant risk and resiliency factors. An early age at disclosure of one’s non-exclusive heterosexuality, and a younger age at first consensual same gender sexual activity were found to be associated with increased suicide ideation. Victimisation at home, as well as school was also associated with increased suicidality, while accurate sexuality information was found to be significant factor for suicide resiliency.
The current findings indicate that L/B/G youth suicide prevention requires efforts to reduce risk and increase resiliency factors.
The abstract was made available by the author in June, 2001.
Gilmore TC (1996). Stress, coping and adjustment among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. Ph.D. Thesis, George Mason University, DAI Vol. 57:04B, p. 2865, 161 pages.
Abstract by author: This study examined mental health and substance use among 105 gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (ages 14-21). Participants were recruited through social and support groups in three mid-Atlantic cities. Stress and coping theory was applied in an attempt to understand the relationships among gay-related stress, general stress, coping style, social support, comfort with sexual orientation, depression, substance use, anxiety, and self-esteem in this population. Gay-related stress (including coming out events, indirect hostility toward gays and lesbians in the environment, and direct verbal and physical abuse) was shown to be a significant correlate of anxiety and depression. Overall, younger age, general stress, gay-related stress, comfort with sexual orientation, and social support were all strong predictors of depression among the participants. Only general stress and social support predicted substance use.
Ginsberg RW (1996). In the triangle/out of the circle: gay/lesbian students' school experience. ED.D., Thesis, DAI, Vol. 58-01A, p. 72, 163 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation research was a study of the school experience of students in gay/lesbian support groups in two high schools located in a mid-sized southwestern city. A qualitative methodology incorporated the tools of ethnography and naturalistic inquiry to guide the observations and interviews of students both in and out of the "closet" who participated in these support groups. Analysis of the data yielded the need for the public teaching institutions to provide opportunities for gay/lesbian students to explore questions related to their shared sexual identity. The stories delivered in the students' own voices provided a basis for understanding gay/lesbian students in the context of their school experience.
Their previously unheard voices contribute another dimension to the educational discourse and incorporates a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the similarities and differences that characterize today's adolescent population in schools. The study found that the homosexual adolescents in the study population spent a major portion of their school lives feeling isolated, fearful, and confused, forced to confront their emerging sexuality in settings that range, as they understood it, from ignorance of their existence, on the one hand, to open hostility, on the other.
The study also found that these gay/lesbian adolescents exhibited considerable ambivalence about their sexual identity and, that apart from this one aspect of their lives, they appear to be much like their heterosexual peers, even with respect to their attitudes toward homosexuality and in the extent and nature of their sexual activity. Nevertheless, this singular difference likely is the core reason behind a gay/lesbian adolescent rate of suicide that is almost three times that of the adolescent population at large. Responding to this national problem, a few schools have established on campus support groups wherein trained counselors facilitate discussion among students who may be questioning their sexuality or simply are curious about the topic.
This study, based on the activities of two such support groups, found the adolescents hoped for the continuance of these groups; they considered the groups to be of vital importance to them at this point in their life. A review of the existing literature revealed that although much has been written about the subject of gays/lesbians, a dearth of literature exists. Also, much of that literature has been generated outside of the academy and includes fiction and "new media" forms of which many educators are unaware. Thus, the study includes an appraisal of the breath of pertinent literature and a list of references that may aid future researchers.
Recommendations as to the kinds of future research that could further illuminate the subject, and recommendations regarding curricula, teacher education, and the implementation of gay/lesbian support groups also comprise an important part of the conclusions.
Goldblum PB (1985). Psychosocial factors associated with the risk of attempted suicide by homosexual men. PH.D. Thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, DAI, Vol. 45-12B, p. 3939, 140 pages.
Abstract by author: The purpose of this study was to determine what psychological and social factors, either separately or in combination, differentiate homosexual men who have attempted suicide from those who have not. It is one of the first studies to specifically investigate suicide behavior in the homosexual population.
Twenty Caucasian homosexual men who had attempted suicide were compared with 163 Caucasian homosexual men who had never attempted suicide. Of the 20 subjects who had attempted suicide, 15 had attempted within one year of the study and the other five had attempted suicide within three years. A statistical procedure developed by Motto and Heilbron (1976) was adapted for this study which used a screening procedure to determine which of 49 variables discriminate suicide attempters from nonattempters. Two logistic regression models were constructed to determine the discriminative power attained by combining groups of variables. A second goal of this analysis was to determine which variables in the models have the most explanatory power which is not shared by other variables. Specific hypotheses related to attempting suicide by homosexual men were tested for three of the 49 variables.
The first hypothesis, that homosexual men who have made a suicide attempt would participate less extensively in the gay community than homosexual men who have not, was not confirmed. In fact, the homosexual men in this study who had attempted suicide actually participated more extensively in the gay community than the nonattempters.
The second hypothesis, that homosexual men who had attempted suicide would be more concerned about their homosexuality, was confirmed.
The third hypothesis, that homosexual men who had attempted suicide would be less likely to disclose their homosexuality to heterosexuals, was not confirmed.
No difference was found between the two groups in terms of the level of disclosure to heterosexuals.
A logistic regression model consisting of eleven variables identified in the screening procedure was able to discriminate between the suicide attempters and nonattempters more effectively than any single variable; however, the depression scale was the only variable with unique power to discriminate. When a second logistic regression model was constructed and depression was omitted, homosexual concerns alone provided unique variance to a ten variable logistic model.
Publication No. 8502627
Halpert, Stephen C. (1999). Suicidal behavior among gay male youth: Fact or fiction? Ph.D. Thesis, Wright State
University, Dayton, Ohio. Abstract supplied by author on August 21, 2001. A paper related to this study is in press, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy.
Abstract by author: Suicide
has been purported to be a major problem among gays and lesbians in general,
and rates of suicidal behavior (suicide atempts and ideation) are said
to be even higher among adolescent samples. While most studies have consistently
found rates of suicide atempts among gay and lesbian adolescent opulations
to be two to three times higher than their heterosexual peers, these findings
have not been supported by all studies, particularly those which have relied
upon psychological autopsies. In a comprehensive review of
the literature, over 100 sources are examined to determine: (a) whether
suicidal behaviors are greater among gay male youth than among heterosexuals,
(b) if, in fact, homosexuality is nonpathological, can the higher rates
of purported suicide be explained if supported by the literature, and (c)
can findings contradicting the higher rates of suicidal behavior among
gay male youth be explained? Seven broad areas of risk factors are
reported including general discrimination/stigma, societal, identity conflicts,
family difficulties, mental health problems, and an overall negative outlook
on the future. In addition to reviewing the studies both supporting
and refuting higher rates of suicidal behavior among gay male youth, a
discussion of common methodological problems is presented including difficulties
in sampling definitions, measures, and methodology. It is hypothesized
that the higher rates of suicidal behavior among gay male youth are not
due to a homosexual orientation per se, but to the societal hatred and
prejudice inflicted upon gay youth.
Hecht JB (1998). Suicidality and psychological adjustment in a community sample of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. PH.D. Thesis, Boston University, DAI, Vol. 58-07B, p. 3924, 66 pages.
Abstract by author: Recent research suggests that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth are much more likely to be suicidal than their heterosexual peers. Past research has linked suicidality in this population to general psychopathology and to factors related to homo- or bi- sexuality. This study investigated the relationship between psychological risk factors and suicidality in a sample of support groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth.
Seventy-four participants, 52 males and 22 females, were recruited from a large Northeastern community. Participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Youth SelfReport, the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation, and two instruments designed to assess developmental experiences of homo- and bi-sexual youths. The data were analyzed using bivariate correlations.
The data showed that the experience of physical assault related to sexual orientation, distress with sexual orientation, depression, and psychopathological symptomatology were positively related to suicidality in male participants. The total number of disclosures of sexual orientation and a supportive family reaction were negatively correlated with suicidality for male participants. Scores for depression and psychopathological symptomatology were positively correlated with suicidality for female subjects.
Nineteen of 74 participants [25.7%] reported prior suicide attempts, a level consistent with previous studies of this population. Only one of the participants indicated current suicidality. Males and females showed roughly equivalent rates of suicidality.
The results of this study did not support research linking age of awareness of same-sex attraction and gender non-conformity with suicidality.
Additional findings suggest that gay and lesbian youth engage in defensive and compensatory behavior to cope with a heterosexual world. Although a majority of participants reported fearing negative consequences from disclosure of sexual orientation, including verbal harassment, physical assault, school problems, and family and peer rejection, only a minority reported actually having these experiences.
Most participants reported that disclosing their sexual orientation and joining a support group contributed to an increased sense of integrity, feelings of relief, more honest friendships and relationships, and increased self-esteem.
These findings support the hypotheses of some researchers that providing support such as safe opportunities for disclosure of sexual orientation and social support may help reduce suicidality in this population.
Hendricks ML (1993). The occurrence of suicidal ideation over the course of HIV infection in gay men: a cross-sectional study. PH.D. Thesis, The American University, DAI, Vol. 55-03B, p. 1184, 102 pages.
Abstract by author: Previous research has demonstrated an elevation in emotional distress and suicidality in persons infected with HIV. However, no study had previously reported having systematically analyzed the modulation of suicidal ideation or the qualitative changes associated with ideation which likely occur with the progression of HIV illness. This study utilized a controlled, cross- sectional model and self-report questionnaire instruments to assess the level of suicidal ideation and factors related to ideation, as well as depression, hopelessness, social support, and disease-related health factors in gay men at different points of HIV illness progression. As expected, the seropositive group evidenced significantly greater levels of suicidal ideation, depression, and hopelessness than the seronegative controls.
Among the disease-related factors, only time since diagnosis of seropositivity predicted level of suicidal ideation: ideation increased linearly with the passage of time, suggesting that suicidality is mediated by psychological processes. A discriminant analysis revealed that time since diagnosis correctly distinguished ideators from nonideators only 61.2% of the time. This function lacks the accuracy necessary to be useful as a diagnostic tool, but suggests the importance of assessing this factor.
Seropositive ideators who had survived HIV for more than five years, compared to those who had been diagnosed within two years, reported a higher incidence of persons in their environment who would lend at least emotional support for committing suicide, and among reasons for not committing suicide rated fear of social disapproval and moral objections as less important. These two groups were not significantly different on other measures, suggesting that the long-term survivors had sought out support for their suicidal intentions and disposed of reasons which might prevent them from enacting them.
Finally, significant interactions were found between time since diagnosis and presence or absence of suicidal ideation on the factors of support network size, helpers for suicide, and fear of suicide and moral objections as suicide deterrents. These results suggest that long-term HIV survivors develop support networks that are more similar in size but different in composition than those newly diagnosed, and that they tend to dispose of reasons that would prevent them from acting on suicidal thoughts.
Horton LC (1995). Coming out reactions in the family system to the gay or lesbian sexual orientation of an adolescent family member. M.S. Thesis, Texas Women's University, MAI Vol. 34-03, p. 1302, 111 pages.
Abstract by author: While researchers have studied various aspects of the gay and lesbian experience, most existing literature fails to address the experience of the families of gay and lesbian adolescents. Because of the lack of information in this area, a qualitative study was done. The writer interviewed 7 families in which a gay or lesbian member had disclosed his or her sexual orientation to the family during adolescence. General Systems Theory and Family Stress Theory were used as a framework for the study. Research questions were based upon a structured interview guide designed by the writer.
Verbatim transcripts of the audiotaped interviews were analyzed to reveal common themes between the families in the areas of (1) attitudes toward sexual orientation, (2) sources and quality of support sought by family members, and (3) relationship between mother and child. In all but two cases, only the mother and gay or lesbian child were present for the interview. As a result, only mother and child responses were analyzed.
Emerging themes indicated that the mothers and children tended to change their attitudes about gay men and lesbians from negative or neutral attitudes to positive views. Both mothers and children sought help outside the family. Quality of support varied. Notably, all 7 children sought psychotherapy. All 7 reported feelings of depression prior to the disclosure and 3, of suicidal ideation. These feelings seemed related to shame and feelings of inferiority. All families reported an improvement in the mother-child relationship following the child's disclosure.
Jackson KW (1997). Risk factors associated with suicide probability in HIV-positive and AIDS patients. PH.D, Thesis, DAI, Vol. 57-12B, p. 7776, 149 pages.
Abstract by author: Since the identification of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS, the epidemic has received considerable attention. Medical researchers have directed their attention to finding a cure, and the social scientists inVolvement in education and prevention programs. Thus far medical researchers have focused on finding a vaccine to improve the quality of life for AIDS patients. As we now enter the second decade of the AIDS epidemic, the profession of psychology also needs to focus it's attention to the healing of the social consequences that is associated with the AIDS epidemic.
The stigma, isolation discrimination, and depression associated with AIDS persists and may contribute to the hopelessness and the suicides of many people with HIV or AIDS. Social constructions have an influence on the individuals in our society. AIDS continues to elicit a negative image and a negative attitude for a majority of people in society. Judgements are frequently made due to the pre-existing negative attitudes toward the marginalized groups of society that are at greatest risk for HIV infection and AIDS.
These marginalized groups include gay men, IV drug users, ethnic and racial minorities, and women. Membership in one or more of these groups is associated with increased stress due to experiences of prejudice, discrimination, and violence. These factors place individuals with already compromised immune systems at great risk for negative health outcomes. Violence was significantly correlated with hopelessness at p < .05 and with violence at p < .05.
Depression, suicide, and external L.O.C. were significantly correlated with hopelessness at p < .01. Depression, external L.O.C., social support were significantly correlated with suicide probability at p < .01.
Depression, suicide probability, external L.O.C. and Hopelessness were significant with social support at p < .01. Also, t-tests revealed significant differences between groups experiencing high or low social value.
Significant differences were noted for suicide probability at p < .01 and noted for hopelessness at p < .001. Significant differences between groups being treated like a person vs. a stereotype were also noted.
Significant differences at p < .01 was identified for the variable hopelessness and p < .001 was identified for the variable suicide probability.
Kus RJ (1980). Gay freedom: an ethnography of coming out. PH.D. Thesis, University of Montana, DAI Vol. 42-02A, p. 864, 423 pages.
Abstract by author: The purpose of this study is to show that the coming out process experienced by gay Americans is a systematic and observable life process consisting of stages having profound consequences for the gay person's identity and self-esteem.
Data consisted of thirty-one in-depth interviews conducted in Missoula, Montana and Seattle, Washington with twenty-six gay men and five lesbians, gay studies literature, and other sources such as music, poetry, cartoons.
The four stages of coming out are: identification, cognitive changes, acceptance, and action.
In Stage I, the individual recognizes gay identity. Due to many factors, this stage may be very frightening and guilt-producing; this can lead to problems such as depression, alcohol abuse, and suicidal ideation.
Stage II sees the gay person exploring the gay world and ridding self of negative preconceived notions about what gays are like. Passing as straight, which here is called "closet passing," is a common feature of this stage.
Stage III is acceptance of self in a positive light which leads to a healthy self-esteem. The hallmark of this stage is a special type of freedom from guilt, fear, hiding - a gay freedom. This freedom manifests itself in honesty, candidness, relaxation, energy release, etc.
Stage IV is action such as disclosure of gay identity, choosing new friends, working in the gay movement. An in- depth examination of "telling the family" is included to give the reader a clearer idea of the dynamic nature of the action stage of the coming out process and how it affects the gay's biographical others.
A few areas for future research in gay studies sociology are given at the end of the study.
Lewis GR (1988). The correlation between unsafe sexual behaviors and suicidal probability. PH.D. Thesis, United States International University, DAI Vol. 49-07B, p. 2863, 139 pages.
Abstract by author: The problem. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between unsafe sexual practices, as defined by the Center of Disease Control in Atlanta, and Suicide Probability, as revealed by the Suicide Probability Scale.
Method. A correlational study was done, and 263 male homosexuals in several locations in San Diego were administered the testing packet. The packet was comprised of the Lewis Sexual Behaviors Scale and the Suicide Probability Scale.
Results. The findings indicate a majority of homosexual men (61.94%) continue to use unsafe sexual practices. A significant correlation exists between a person's sexual practices and the probability of him belonging to a group of suicide attempters. Other findings include heterosexual sexual activity, increased hostility, negative self-evaluation, and hopelessness.
Marrero JA (1994). Interpersonal cognitive problem-solving skills among adolescents at high risk of suicidal behavior in New York City. PH.D. Thesis, New York University, DAI, Vol. 55-08B, p. 3594, 232 pages.
Abstract by author: Suicidal behavior among adolescents has become a national epidemic. Suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among the 15-19 age group. This study examined the role in suicidal behavior of a risk/mediating factor amenable to preventive and therapeutic interventions. More specifically, this study examined the relationship between interpersonal cognitive problem-solving skills (ICPSS) and suicidal behavior among high risk adolescents.
The sample consisted of 31 male runaways, 33 female runaways, and 47 male gay youths between the ages of 12 and 19. All participants completed depression, anxiety, and conduct problems scales, the ICPSS instrument, and a suicidal behavior questionnaire.
Suicidal behavior was negatively related to generation of alternatives among male runaways.
Among female runaways, suicidal behavior was positively related to the number of times they chose the most effective among the alternatives they generated, to a bias toward self-enhancing goals in their chosen alternative solutions, and to a bias toward appeasement goals in the rest of the alternatives they generated.
Suicidal behavior was also related to a bias toward self- enhancement goals on the chosen alternative solutions of male gays, as well as to the number of obstacles they anticipated in reaching a goal.
Except for a deficit in generation of alternatives among male runaways, suicidal behavior was not associated with previously found deficits in ICPSS. On the other hand, a bias in the type of goals suicidal adolescents seek to maximize when solving a problem emerges as a relevant variable.
Gender differences in the relationship of a number of ICPSS variables to the suicidal behavior of at risk adolescents were also found.
Treatment implications are discussed and suggestions for future research are offered.
Publication No. 9422940
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