Suicide attempts by gay and straight teenagers are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don’t have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students in Oregon found.
Those two factors raised the odds and were a substantial influence on suicide attempts even when known risk contributors, such as depression and being bullied, were considered, said study author Mark Hatzenbuehler, a Columbia University psychologist and researcher.
The study found a higher rate of suicide attempts even among students who weren’t bullied or depressed when they lived in counties less supportive of gay people. The study was published online last week in the journal Pediatrics.
A version of this article appeared in the April 27, 2011 edition of Education Week as Teen-Suicide-Attempt Rate Higher in Conservative Areas