Monday, April 18, 2011

Anti-Bullying programs can only do so much...

BullyingImage via WikipediaA new study published in this months edition of Pediatrics, The Social Environment and Suicide Attempts in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth, explores the relationship between social environment and suicide attempts among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. And, no surprise, teen suicide attempts in socially/politically conservative environments is higher and more common. The study, based on the results of a total of 31 852 11th grade students (1413 [4.4%] lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals) in Oregon who completed the Oregon Healthy Teens survey in 2006–2008, found the following:
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide in the previous 12 months, compared with heterosexuals (21.5% vs 4.2%). Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer suicide attempts, controlling for sociodemographic variables and multiple risk factors for suicide attempts, including depressive symptoms, binge drinking, peer victimization, and physical abuse by an adult (odds ratio: 0.97 [95% confidence interval: 0.96–0.99]) (Article Abstract)
In these cases the school system, and the programs it offers, can be a reflection of its community, regardless of the mandate from above and afar, and many programs come up against a wall of ignorance and obstruction.