Victimization

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.
Objectives: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) populations exhibit elevated rates of psychiatric disorders compared to heterosexuals, and these disparities emerge early in the life course. We examined the role of exposure to early-life victimization and adversity-including physical and sexual abuse, homelessness, and intimate partner violence-in explaining sexual orientation disparities in mental health among adolescents and young adults. Methods: Data were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, Wave 3 (2001-2002), a nationally representative survey of adolescents.