Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 59–62 | Cite as

Correlates of Suicide Attempts in an Open Cohort of Young Men Who Have Sex with Men

  • Michael R. Botnick
  • Katherine V. Heath
  • Peter G. A. Cornelisse
  • Steffanie A. Strathdee
  • Stephen L. Martindale
  • Robert S. HoggEmail author
Article

Abstract

Objective

To investigate baseline correlates of attempted suicide in a large cohort of young gay and bisexual men.

Methods

Participants completed annual questionnaires asking demographic information, sexual behaviours, history of forced and paid sex, comfort with sexual orientation, use of illicit drugs, and validated measures of depression, social support, alcohol dependency, self-esteem and suicide ideation and attempts. Contingency table analysis and step-wise logistic regression were used to identify potential predictors of self-reported suicide attempts.

Results

Of 345 gay and bisexual men eligible for this cross-sectional analysis, 150 (43.5%) reported that they had ever considered suicide and 67 (19.4%) that they had attempted suicide at least once. After adjustment for multiple explanatory variables, the use of nitrite inhalants (poppers) (AOR=2.37; 95%CI 1.30, 4.33), social support scores below the 75th percentile of all scores (AOR=2.19; 95%CI 1.18, 4.09) and low or moderate self-esteem (AOR=3.73; 95%CI 2.03, 6.86) were independently associated with elevated risk of attempted suicide.

Conclusion

Our data indicate that men in this analysis who ideate or attempt suicide earlier in life are more likely to report lower social support and self-esteem, and high popper use.

Résumé

Objectif

Notre étude porte sur les corrélats initiaux des tentatives de suicide au sein d’une vaste cohorte de jeunes hommes gais et bisexuels.

Méthode

Les participants ont rempli annuellement des questionnaires comportant des demandes de renseignements de base et des questions sur leur comportement sexuel, leurs antécédents de relations sexuelles forcées ou rémunérées, leur aisance par rapport à leur orientation sexuelle et leur consommation de drogues illicites. Ils ont aussi validé des mesures concernant la dépression, le soutien social, la dépendance à l’alcool, l’estime de soi, les idées suicidaires et les tentatives de suicide. Par l’analyse de tableaux de contingence et l’analyse séquentielle de la régression logis-tique, nous avons cherché à déterminer les prédicteurs des tentatives de suicide déclarées par les intéressés.

Résultats

Sur les 345 hommes gais et bisexuels remplissant les conditions requises pour cette analyse transversale, 150 (43,5 %) ont déclaré avoir envisagé le suicide, et 67 (19,4 %) ont dit avoir fait au moins une tentative. Après correction en fonction de variables explicatives multiples, les fac-teurs indépendants associés à un risque élevé d’attenter à sa vie étaient la consommation de nitrites d’amyle («poppers») (rapport de cotes ajusté = 2,37; intervalle de confiance [IC] de 95 % = 1,30-4,33), les scores de soutien social inférieurs au 75e percentile de l’ensemble des scores (rapport de cotes ajusté = 2,19; IC de 95 % = 1,18-4,09) et une estime de soi faible à moyenne (rapport de cotes ajusté = 3,73; IC de 95 % = 2,03-6,86).

Conclusion

Les hommes ayant envisagé le suicide ou tenté de se suicider tôt dans la vie étaient plus susceptibles de déclarer un manque de soutien social, une faible estime de soi et une consom-mation élevée de nitrites d’amyle.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Berman A, Jobes D. Suicide prevention in adolescents (age 12-18). Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour 1995;25:.143–54.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lipschitz A. Suicide prevention in young adults (age 18-30). Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour 1995;25:.155–70.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Suicide in Canada: Update of the Report of the Task Force on Suicide in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Health Canada, 1994.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gibson P. Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, 1989.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Garofolo R, Wolf CR, Kessel S, Palfrey J, DuRant RH. The Association Between Health Risk Behaviours and Sexual Orientation Among a School-based Sample of Adolescents. Pediatrics 1998;101:.895–902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bagley C, Tremblay P. Suicidality: Problems of Gay and Bisexual Males. Online at https://doi.org/www.virtualcity.com/youthsuicide/sui-cide.htm.
  7. 7.
    Hunter J. Violence against lesbian and gay male youths. J Interpersonal Violence 1990;5:.295–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Strathdee SA, Hogg RS, Martindale SL, Cornelisse PGA, Craib KJP, Montaner JSG, et al. Determinants of sexual risk-taking among young HIV-negative gay and bisexual men. J Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and Human Retroviruses 1998;19:.61–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Craib KJP, Weber AE, Cornelisse PGA, Martindale SL, Miller ML, Schechter MT, et al. Comparison of sexual behaviours, unprotected sex, and substance use between two independent cohorts of gay and bisexual men. AIDS 2000;14:.303–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Strathdee SA, Martindale SL, Cornelisse PGA, Miller ML, Craib KJP, Schechter MT, et al. HIV infection and risk behaviours among young gay and bisexual men in Vancouver. CMAJ 2000;162:.21–25.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zich JM, Attkinsson CC, Greenfield TK. Screening for depression in primary care clinics: The CES-D and the BDI. Int J Psychiatric Med 1990;20:.259–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ensel WM, Woelfel M. Measuring the instrumental and expressive functions of social support. In: Social Support, Life Events and Depression. Kent, UK: Academic Press Inc., 1986;129–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rosenberg M. Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1989.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mayfield D, McLeod G, Hall P. The CAGE Questionnaire: Validation of a new alcoholism instrument. J Am Psychiatry 1974;131:.1121–23.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Roesler T, Deisher RW. Youthful male homosexuality. JAMA 1972;219:.1018–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jay K, Young A (Eds.). The Gay Report: Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Their Sexual Experiences and Lifestyles. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1979.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Remafedi G, Farrow JA, Deisher RW. Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual youth. Pediatrics 1991;87a(6):869–75.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Botnick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Katherine V. Heath
    • 1
    • 4
  • Peter G. A. Cornelisse
    • 1
  • Steffanie A. Strathdee
    • 3
  • Stephen L. Martindale
    • 1
  • Robert S. Hogg
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDSVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of ArtsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.MDJohns Hopkins School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Care and Epidemiology, Faculty of MedicineCanada

Personalised recommendations