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A proposed suicide prevention intervention for LGBTQ youth: addressing an unmet need

Topper, Alexandra (2017) A proposed suicide prevention intervention for LGBTQ youth: addressing an unmet need. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth face health disparities linked to societal stigma and discrimination based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Depressive symptoms, feelings of prolonged hopelessness or sadness, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts are considerably more likely for sexual minority and transgender youth than for heterosexual and non-transgender youth. The purpose of this paper is to understand the current state of LGBTQ youth suicide research and to propose a program plan for an LGBTQ youth-focused suicide prevention intervention. The author utilized two main research strategies for developing the plan: first, a PubMed literature search was executed to identify peer-reviewed literature on LGBT youth suicide prevention interventions. Second, a grey literature search was conducted to locate existing evidence-based suicide prevention interventions for the general youth population that may be useful for LGBTQ youth. Results from the PubMed literature search indicate that no LGBT-specific evidence-based interventions to reduce suicide risk are currently available. However, the grey literature search found that a number of evidence-based interventions for suicide prevention among the general youth population exist and contain elements that may be adapted for an LGBTQ-specific program. The author selected four evidence-based programs that have been reviewed and included in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry (BPR) based on their potential for adaptation for LGBTQ youth. The grey lit review also yielded a list of recommendations for agencies serving youth for developing more LGBT-inclusive programming published by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. The author identified core elements of the four existing programs and designed new elements based on the SPRC’s recommendations to directly target LGBT-specific risk factors for suicide, and combined these to create “Protecting Our Youth: A Suicide Prevention Program for LGBTQ Youth and Allies (POY).” The public health significance of this work is that it advances our understanding of the unique mental health needs of LGBTQ youth. Using a strong base of public health theory along with an extensive review of LGBTQ health research, the proposed program provides the basis of a potentially efficacious program for reducing suicide-related outcomes among members of a vulnerable population.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Topper, Alexandraart57@pitt.eduart57
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHawk, Marymeh96@pitt.eduMEH96
Committee MemberEgan, Jamesjee48@pitt.eduJEE48
Committee MemberWhitfield, Darrendwhitfield@pitt.edudwhitfield
Date: 29 June 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2017
Approval Date: 29 June 2017
Submission Date: 3 April 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 60
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: LGBT suicide
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2017 23:05
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2017 23:05


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