Sexual minority adolescents are likely to be more vulnerable to mental, physical, and social health problems. This study aims to analyze the mental, social, and physical health-related outcomes in sexual minority adolescents.
This contemporary national cohort study included a total of 9,885 sexual minority adolescents. The mental, social, and physical health outcomes of the participants were analyzed and compared with heterosexual adolescents at age 14 years. The primary outcome of the study was adverse health outcomes, as compared with heterosexual adolescents.
Of 9,885 adolescents who provided responses about their sexual attraction, 629 (6%) were sexual minorities. The remaining 9,256 participants (94%) were either attracted to the opposite sex or were not attracted to the same sex. The findings suggested that sexual minority adolescents were likely to experience self-harm (5.80), high depressive symptoms (odds ratio 5.43), lower life satisfaction (3·66), lower self-esteem (1.83), and bullying and victimization. Sexual minority adolescents were also more likely to try alcohol (1.85), smoking (2.41), and cannabis (3.22). The risk of physical inactivity and obesity was also high in sexual minority adolescents.
The research concluded that sexual minority adolescents are more likely to face adverse mental, social, and physical health-related outcomes, as compared with heterosexual adolescents.