Mental health disorders, childhood adversities and recent stressful experiences as risk factors for non-suicidal self-injury and suicidality among LGBTQA+ higher education students

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Abstract

Background: A prominent feature of suicide incidence and epidemiology is that its distribution reflects systemic inequalities, exemplified by high prevalence rates of suicidality among marginalised groups. The aim of this study was to examine mental health disorders, childhood adversities, recent stressors, and suicidality among LGBTQA+ students in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Methods: First-year undergraduate students (n=1828) were recruited as part of the World Mental Health International College Student Initiative, which employed the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview. A sub-sample of students aged 18-24 (n=1525), including 1335 heterosexual students, and 190 (12.4%) LGBTQA+ students were examined. Chi-squared tests for independence was used to identify significant differences in prevalence rates between both groups. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the associations between mental health disorders, childhood adversities, recent stressors, non-suicidal self-injury, and suicidality among LGBTQA+ students.
Results: LGBTQA+ students were significantly more likely to have experienced mental health difficulties, childhood adversities, recent stressors, and suicidality than their heterosexual peers. For LGBTQA+ students, mood disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and non-suicidal self-injury was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of suicidal ideation and suicide plan. Childhood adversities, and recent stressors including bullying and poor health was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of suicide attempt.
Discussion: These findings highlight the existing mental health disparities, childhood adversities and recent stressors which contribute to higher prevalence rates of suicidality among LGBTQA+ students. Further, it underscores the importance of early intervention which should be tailored to LGBTQA+ student populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages19
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Jun 2024
Event8th Suicide & Self-Harm Early & Mid-Career Researchers' Forum - Glasgow
Duration: 17 Jun 202418 Jun 2024

Conference

Conference8th Suicide & Self-Harm Early & Mid-Career Researchers' Forum
Abbreviated titleEMCRF24
Period17/06/2418/06/24

Keywords

  • Suicide Prevention
  • Trauma exposure
  • Mental Health
  • Suicidality
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • LGBTQA+
  • Students
  • Higher Education

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