Date of Publication


Faculty Mentor

Thomas Delaney


Purpose: Sexual assault and sexual minority are known risk factors for suicidality in adolescents. This study identifies the association between sexual assault and sexual orientation in order to better predict and direct resources to teens at high-risk for suicide.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study utilizing the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 2015. Logistic regression was used to correlate risk based on sexual assault and sexual orientation.

Results: 34.9% who were sexually assaulted attempted suicide compared to 4.0% of students who were not assaulted. 21.3% of LGB or unsure students attempted compared to 3.9% of straight youth. If sexually assaulted and LGB, 49.4% attempted suicide compared to 2.8% if straight and not assaulted, odds ratio 2.1 (95% CI 1.5, 2.8)

Conclusions: The study shows that sexual assault and sexual minority combined increases suicide risk. Further prevention efforts should focus on identifying victims of assault and prevention of childhood sexual assault.

(Key Words: Sexual assault, suicide, sexual minority, adolescent, YRBS, LGB, suicide prevention)

Document Type


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Public Health Commons