Homelessness, Family Rejection and Disclosure, Mental Health, and Suicidality among Sexual Minority Adolescents in the U.S.

Harmony Rhoades , University of Southern California
Jeremy Goldbach, University of Southern California
Mary Rose Mamey, University of Southern California
Sheree Schrager, University of Southern California

Sexual minority adolescents (SMA) experience increased risks of homelessness, mental health disorder symptoms, and suicidality, and among adolescents experiencing homelessness, SMA report higher risks of negative mental health outcomes. Research in this area is limited by samples mostly comprised only of those who have experienced homelessness or older youth (not adolescents), and by the difficulty of recruiting SMA, a group who have often not widely disclosed their sexual orientation. Utilizing a sample of 1,540 adolescents (aged 14-17 years) in the U.S. recruited through a hybrid social media and respondent-driven sampling approach, these analyses assess relationships between parental rejection and disclosure, homelessness, and mental health/suicidality. Preliminary findings suggest higher risk of homelessness among adolescents with parental rejection experiences and/or who have disclosed their sexual orientation to their parents. SMA with homelessness experiences report higher rates of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, and extremely elevated rates of a lifetime suicide attempt.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth