LONDON — LGB students in the U.K. are at greater risk for self harm even after accounting for depression, anxiety, lack of belonging and self-esteem as mediating factors according to a new study published in the Archives of Suicide Research, Healio reports.
In their study, the investigators assessed the relationship between LGB status and both non-suicidal self injury and suicide attempts in 707 U.K. university students using a cross-sectional survey. They also examined whether psychological variables — depression, anxiety, belongingness and self-esteem — mediated this relationship. Participants completed an online survey that included measures of self-harm, affective symptoms, belongingness and self-esteem. Researchers used latent variable modeling to test their hypotheses, Healio reports.
Overall, 119 participants reported gay or bisexual status. The results showed that LGB status remained associated with nonsuicidal self-injury even after researchers accounted for mediators; however, the strength of this link decreased slightly. In addition, self-esteem was linked to risk for self-harm and also was a significant mediator, Healio reports.
The investigators observed similar results for suicide attempts. Although the effect size was smaller than that for nonsuicidal self-injury, self-esteem and belongingness were also linked to risk for suicide attempt. Adding anxiety and depressive symptoms to the model led to poorer fit when assessing both nonsuicidal self-injury and suicide attempts, according to the results.