All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Karlene Ball

Advisory Committee Members

Matthew Hogben

David Schwebel

David Vance

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2011

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This study highlights associations between sexual orientation and risk outcomes in late adolescence and early adulthood using an expanded measure of sexual orientation. Recent data indicate higher levels of risk behavior in a newly identified population, mostly heterosexuals, as compared to heterosexuals. Comparisons among groups using an expanded measure of sexual orientation such as this, however, often do not include all possible groups or may restrict comparisons between groups. Data were derived from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health); participants identified as heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly gay, or gay. Risk outcomes were parental mistreatment, home displacement, thoughts of suicide, depressive symptoms, frequency of drinking, and delinquency. A priori planned comparisons examined differences between: (a) heterosexual vs. mostly heterosexual, (b) gay vs. mostly gay, (c) mostly heterosexual vs. bisexual, (d) mostly gay vs. bisexual, (e) mostly heterosexual vs. mostly gay, (f) heterosexual vs. gay, (g) heterosexual vs. bisexual, and (h) gay vs. bisexual. Mostly heterosexual youth were at significantly greater risk than heterosexual youth on all outcomes but did not differ from bisexual or mostly gay youth. Heterosexuals were at lower risk as compared to mostly heterosexuals and bisexuals. This study provides further evidence of differential risk associations for sexual minorities.

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