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Substance Use and Mental Health Disparities among Sexual Minority Girls: Results from the Pittsburgh Girls Study

Marshal, MP and Sucato, G and Stepp, SD and Hipwell, A and Smith, HA and Friedman, MS and Chung, T and Markovic, N (2012) Substance Use and Mental Health Disparities among Sexual Minority Girls: Results from the Pittsburgh Girls Study. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 25 (1). 15 - 18. ISSN 1083-3188

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Purpose: To examine substance use and mental health disparities between sexual minority girls and heterosexual girls. Methods: Data from the Pittsburgh Girls Study were analyzed. All girls were 17 years old. Girls were included if they were not missing self-reported sexual orientation and mental health data (N = 527). Thirty-one girls (6%) endorsed same-sex romantic orientation/identity or current same-sex attraction. Bivariate analyses were conducted to test group differences in the prevalence of substance use and suicidal behavior, and group differences in depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder (BPD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD) symptoms. Results: Compared with heterosexual girls, sexual minority girls reported higher past-year rates of cigarette, alcohol, and heavy alcohol use, higher rates of suicidal ideation and self-harm, and higher average depression, anxiety, BPD, ODD, and CD symptoms. Conclusions: Sexual minority girls are an underrepresented group in the health disparities literature, and compared with heterosexual girls, they are at higher risk for mental health problems, most likely because of minority stress experiences such as discrimination and victimization. The disparities found in this report highlight the importance of discussing sexual orientation as part of a comprehensive preventive care visit. © 2012 North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Marshal, MPmpm1@pitt.eduMPM1
Sucato, G
Stepp, SDstephanie_stepp@pitt.eduSDS36
Hipwell, Aaeh5@pitt.eduAEH5
Smith, HA
Friedman, MSmsf11@pitt.eduMSF11
Chung, Tchungta@pitt.eduCHUNGTA
Markovic, Nninam@pitt.eduNINAM
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for LGBT Health Research
Date: 1 February 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Volume: 25
Number: 1
Page Range: 15 - 18
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.jpag.2011.06.011
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
School of Dental Medicine > Dental Science
School of Medicine > Medicine
School of Medicine > Pediatrics
School of Medicine > Psychiatry
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1083-3188
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2013 21:12
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 14:56


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