Methods: Data for this cross sectional-study included 451 participants who self-identified as Latinx LBG on the 2017-National Youth Risk Behavioral Survey. The analysis included micro (intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, drug, depression), mezzo (violence in school), and macro-level (state-level immigration-policy climate) factors’ association with three suicidality outcomes (ideation, planning, and attempt) at the bivariate and multivariate level. The focus of this study was also to parcel out suicidal behavior (i.e., ideation, planning, and attempt) among Latinx LGB youth. Thus, suicidal behavior was collapsed into three dependent variables: suicidal ideation; suicide planning; and suicide attempt. Since the outcome variables were dichotomized, binomial logistic regression was used.
Results: The most commonly reported suicidal behavior was ideation (n = 173; 40%), followed by planning (n = 150; 34%), and then attempt (n = 64; 21%). Out of the 173 Latinx LGB youth who endorsed suicidal ideation in our sample, 71% of them also created a suicide plan and 34% of them attempted suicide. Similarly, of the 150 respondents who reported suicide planning 34% of then also reported having attempted suicide. The odds of experiencing suicidal ideation were significantly higher among Latinx LGB youth who experienced being bullied at school (β=3.24; 44 95% CI: 0.37, 1.51; p=0.001), experienced depressive symptoms (β=2.29; 95% CI: 0.11, 1.39; p=0.001), and experienced sexual assault (β=2.25; 95% CI: 0.09, 1.34; p=0.025). Experiencing depressive symptoms also correlated significantly with creating a suicide plan (β=2.58; 0.09, 95% CI: 0.26, 1.88; 47 p=0.01). Suicide ideation and planning significantly increased the odds of a suicide attempt.
Conclusion: Data from this study suggest that suicide ideation, planning, and attempt are highly prevalent among Latinx LGB adolescents and suicide has now become one of the single greatest health threats to a subset of this population. Given our findings, it is essential that tailored suicide prevention efforts be established that uniquely address the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexual orientation and how this intersection influences micro, mezzo, and macro factors associated with suicide ideation, planning, and attempt among Latinx LGB adolescents. Doing so may provide a better understanding and increasing awareness of the intersections of race/ethnicity and sexual orientation and may provide a pathway to lessen the burden of suicide among Latinx LBG adolescents.