Victimization Typologies among a Large National Sample of Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents

Jillian R. Scheer, Katie M. Edwards, Emily C. Helminen, Ryan J. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The overall objective of this study was to examine the hypothesis that victimization exposure among sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth would result in different latent classes and that victimization exposure class membership would relate to demographic, SGM-specific risk and protective factors, and health variables. Methods: Between April 2017 and December 2017, SGM youth (N = 17,112) aged 13-17 years completed self-report online surveys as part of the LGBTQ National Teen Survey. Data were analyzed between August 2020 and November 2020. Results: Three classes emerged: (1) no victimization exposure, (2) sexual harassment and bullying, and (3) poly-victimization (sexual victimization, sexual harassment, SGM-based bullying, and non-SGM bullying). The results demonstrated that victimization experiences co-occur disproportionately in vulnerable subpopulations of SGM youth, including those who identify as transgender or other gender minority, who are experiencing stigma-related stress and family rejection, and who had disclosed their sexual orientation to family members/parents. SGM youth who reported a diversity of strengths seemed to be protected against victimization. Finally, SGM youth in the sexual harassment and bullying class and the poly-victimization class were more likely to report depressive symptoms, self-perceived stress, and substance use than were SGM youth in the no victimization class, regardless of sex assigned at birth. Conclusion: These findings underscore the urgency with which affirmative prevention and intervention initiatives are needed for SGM youth to reduce risk factors for and correlates of victimization experiences. The data also underscore the importance of addressing SGM-specific risk and protective factors as part of comprehensive violence-related initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-518
Number of pages12
JournalLGBT Health
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • latent class analysis
  • mental health
  • sexual and gender minority
  • substance use
  • victimization
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology

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