Age Factors

Purpose The mental health and victimization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth have garnered media attention with the "It Gets Better Project." Despite this popular interest, there is an absence of empirical evidence evaluating a possible developmental trajectory in LGBTQ distress and the factors that might influence distress over time.
Adolescents with a minority sexual orientation (e.g., lesbian, gay, and bisexual) are more likely to use substances than their heterosexual peers. This study aimed to increase understanding of the development of drug use in this vulnerable population by: 1) comparing longitudinal patterns of past-year illicit drug use (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy) and misuse of prescription drugs among minority sexual orientation youth relative to heterosexual youth and, 2) examining how sexual orientation sub-group, gender, and age relate to variation in the risk of drug use.