How depressed and suicidal sexual minority adolescents understand the causes of their distress

Gary M. Diamond, Guy Shilo, Erin Jurgensen, Anthony D'Augelli, Valeria Samarova, Khendi White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined how lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adolescents reporting clinically significant depressive and suicidal symptoms understand the causes of their psychological distress. The role of the quality of the adolescent-parent relationship as a risk or protective factor was explored. Ten qualitative interviews were analyzed using the Consensual Qualitative Research method. Results showed that adolescents viewed family rejection of sexual orientation, extra-familial LGB related victimization, and non-LGB related negative family life events as the most common causes of their psychological distress. Most of the adolescents also reported experiencing support from at least one family member, and half reported experiencing significant extra-familial (e.g., peers, school counselor) support. Almost all of the adolescents reported wishing that their relationships with their parents were closer and characterized by more acceptance, as well as a willingness to participate in family therapy to improve their relationships with their parents. Clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)130-151
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Adolescent
  • Bisexual
  • Depression
  • Family therapy
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Parents
  • Suicide

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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