Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Suicidal Behavior and Coming Out Milestones in Three Cohorts of Sexual Minority Adults.

Meyer IH, Blosnich JR, Choi SK, Harper GW, Russell ST. Suicidal Behavior and Coming Out Milestones in Three Cohorts of Sexual Minority Adults. LGBT health. 2021 Jul 1; 8(5):340-348.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


We describe the timing of suicidality across the life span in three cohorts of sexual minority adults. We hypothesized that suicide attempts coincide with the coming out period and that younger sexual minority people, who grew up in more accepting social environments, will have lower prevalence of suicide attempts than older generations. A U.S. national probability sample of 1518 sexual minority adults in three age cohorts of 18-25, 34-41, and 52-59 years (collected 2016-2018) completed a self-administered survey. Sexual minority adults had high prevalence of lifetime suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts, with the highest attempted suicides in the younger cohort (30.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 26.8-35.1) compared with the middle (23.7%, 95% CI = 19.0-29.1) and older (20.3%, 95% CI = 16.3-25.1) cohorts. There were no differences in suicidal behavior by race and ethnicity or between men and women, but gender nonbinary people had higher prevalence of suicidal thoughts. The mean age at suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts tracked closely with age of first realization of sexual minority identity. Most suicide attempts (60.9%) occurred within 5 years of realizing one's sexual minority identity, but a significant proportion of attempts (39.1%) occurred outside this range. Our findings are contrary to the hypothesis that younger cohorts of sexual minority people are at lower risk of suicidality.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.