Sexual orientation, attraction and risk for deliberate self-harm: Findings from a nationally representative sample.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

To date, there has been limited investigation identifying predictors of deliberate self-harm (DSH) among sexual minority adults. The present study examined the likelihood of DSH by sexual minority status as measured by self-reported sexual identity and sexual attraction in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Among respondents who answered both the sexual identity and attraction items on the NESARC (N = 34,273), the link between sexual minority status and DSH was examined. Univariate analyses yielded greater risk of DSH for all sexual minority identities compared to heterosexual identity. Individuals with same-sex only attraction did not differ from those with different-sex only attraction. At the multivariate level, respondents reporting bisexual and unsure identity and bisexual attraction were at two to three times greater risk of DSH compared to their heterosexual/different-sex counterparts. Same-sex attracted and gay/lesbian individuals did not differ from different-sex attracted or heterosexual individuals in adjusted multivariate models. Findings from this nationally representative sample are consistent with previous research suggesting that sexual minority status is a risk factor for DSH. There is a vital need to incorporate varying measures of sexual minority status within research and in clinics, as well as to inquire about DSH among sexual minorities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mann, AJ; Patel, TA; Elbogen, EB; Calhoun, PS; Kimbrel, NA; Wilson, SM

Published Date

  • February 10, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 286 /

Start / End Page

  • 112863 -

PubMed ID

  • 32086030

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7887939

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1872-7123

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112863


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Ireland