The first thing I did when beginning this research project was help complete a draft of a manuscript entitled “Suicide Prevention with Diverse College Students” which detailed the 7 years of suicide prevention grant work at Pace University. The draft was accepted for publication and will be printed in the April 2014 edition of Journal of College Student Psychotherapy.
Next, I helped complete a literature search on the phenomenology of suicide of students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual (LGB). Additionally, four years of data were prepared (i.e., formatted, outliers were removed) for analysis and initial analyses were run. Our results showed that compared to heterosexually-identified students, LGB and Questioning students have higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempts and depression. We wanted to determine what factors may have contributed to this higher rate, so subsequent analyses were run. Preliminary analyses on risk factors that have been identified in the literature that increase suicidality in the general LGB population were run.
I believe one of the challenges we are facing is time. More work is required to complete the risk factor analysis. Furthermore, expert advice on appropriate statistical and SPSS tests is also required. Once the analyses are complete, a poster will be submitted for presentation at the American Association of Suicidology annual conference. Also, if the data is promising, a grant application with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention will also be submitted to run focus groups on LGB students who identify as struggling with suicidality.
This project really has had a great impact on me. I already had the idea that I would like to work with kids and young adults in the future, and this topic has helped solidify that idea in my mind. This project has also shown me that I would like to participate in research in the future. I would be thrilled to be included in any future research relating to this project.